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Carlyle launches India buyout team

The Washington DC-based private equity firm has unveiled a three-strong Indian buyout investment team, who will ply their trade out of Mumbai.

Carlyle Group, the US-based global investor, has launched an Indian buyout team in Mumbai under the stewardship of former DSP Merrill Lynch investment banker Rajeev Gupta, who becomes managing director and head of Carlyle India. He is joined by director Raj Dugar, founding director of the Merlion India Fund, and senior associate Manoj Dengla.

The Carlyle India team is part of Carlyle’s Asia buyout group, which manages a $750 million (€620 million) Asian buyout fund. The firm also has two dedicated Asian growth capital funds totalling $323 million and now has a total of seven investment professionals operating in India in buyouts and growth capital.

This is a talented buyout team that will quickly and effectively establish Carlyle as a player in the India buyout community

David Rubenstein, co-founder and MD, Carlyle Group

“This is a substantial expansion of Carlyle’s investment activities in India and demonstrates our belief that India holds significant opportunities,” said Carlyle co-founder and managing director David Rubenstein in a statement. “This is a talented buyout team that will quickly and effectively establish Carlyle as a player in the India buyout community.”

Gupta joins Carlyle from DSP Merrill Lynch, a Mumbai-based financial services provider which is 40 percent owned by Merrill Lynch, the global investment bank. Gupta launched the firm’s M&A business in 1995 and has been involved in some of India’s largest M&A transactions, including the $800 million acquisition of cement business ACC by Swiss rival Holcim earlier this year.

Dugar was previously at Merlion Fund, an Indian private equity fund sponsored by Hong Kong’s Standard Chartered Private Equity and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings while Dengla was previously at Goldman Sachs Special Situations Group in New York, where he was an associate focusing on investments in renewable energy and industrial utilities.

India is beginning to lure some of the world’s leading private equity groups. In May, New York’s Blackstone Group announced it was opening a new office in Mumbai under the leadership of Akhil Gupta, a former CEO of Indian corporation Reliance, as well as earmarking $1 billion for investment in the country. Two months earlier, London-listed 3i recruited Anil Ahuja, former head of JP Morgan’s investments in the country, as a managing director and head of India.