Capvent touts $250m India fund

The Swiss fund of funds manager is currently talking to potential investors about a new vehicle that will target primarily direct investments in India.

Capvent, the Swiss private equity fund of funds manager, is in talks to launch a new fund targeting mainly direct investments in India.

According to Varun Sood, co-founder of Capvent and head of the firm’s Indian operations, the fund – which will be launched “in a few months’ time” – will aim to raise between $150 million and $250 million, 80 percent of which will target direct investment and 20 percent funds focusing on India.

Sood says the firm – which has had a presence in India for 18 months – will act as a “local partner” for international investors wanting access to Indian deals, using its ten–strong team based in Bangalore and Bombay to source transactions prior to inviting in other sources of capital.

He added that the reason for investing most of the fund directly is that India currently has only a handful of funds meeting the standards the firm would normally require in Europe or the US. However, he said the firm had in the past committed over $20 million to two Indian funds: the $125 million GW Capital India fund and the $40 million Baring India Private Equity Fund.

Sood said the fund would seek opportunities in high-growth sectors such as pharmaceuticals and would seek to play a role in the further development of the country’s still fledgling buyout market.

The Indian private equity market is currently attracting a high degree of interest due to perceived opportunities arising from deregulation and infrastructure development in the world’s second fastest growing economy. Last month, London-listed 3i appointed Anil Ahuja from JP Morgan Partners to oversee a commitment of up to $100 million a year to the country, while Washington DC-based Carlyle Group hired Raj Dugar from Merlion India to target buyout opportunities from Mumbai.

Capvent (Capital Venture Partners AG) is a fund of funds management organisation founded in 2000 as MTECx Advisers AG, that focuses exclusively on the institutional investor base. Via its presence in the US, in Continental Europe and the UK, the company manages fund of funds programs on a discretionary basis via its Capvent Global Private Equity (CGPE) series of multi-investor fund of funds, and also advises institutional programs on a non-discretionary basis.