ICICI Venture raises $250m for first close

The Mumbai-based private equity firm has raised capital entirely from domestic investors for the first close of India Advantage Fund Series III.

ICICI Venture, one of India’s largest private equity firms, has raised $250 million for the first close of India Advantage Fund (IAF) Series III, Jayanta Banerjee, a president at the private equity group of ICICI Venture, told PEI Asia in an interview.

IAF Series III is targeting commitments of $500 million and has a hard cap of $800 million. The $250 million has been raised entirely from domestic institutions and high net worth individuals, Banerjee said.

Limited partners in the fund include the Life Insurance Corporation of India, Punjab National Bank, Andhra Bank, ICICI Bank and others, he said. ICICI Bank, the firm’s parent company, will commit up to 10 percent of the fund’s capital, he added.

Banerjee said the firm will now tap foreign investors in the next round of fundraising while continuing to raise capital domestically as well. “There is still a lot of appetite in the domestic market,” he said. IAF Series III should see another close by March 2010 at the latest, Banerjee told PEI Asia.

IAF Series III is a multi-sector fund that will make both growth and buyout investments. The fund follows IAF Series II, an $810 million fund which closed in 2006. Seventy two percent of that fund’s capital has been committed, Banerjee said. The firm closed IAF Series I on $267 million in 2003.

This is the firm’s first fundraising initiative following the departure of Renuka Ramnath, who resigned as chief executive of ICICI Venture in April to set up her own private equity firm.

ICICI Venture now manages assets of about $2.5 billion across private equity, real estate and mezzanine.