Report: Askar Capital launches $500m Indian fund

Weeks after opening a Romanian office and co-launching a €150m fund of funds, the Icelandic investment bank has reportedly said it will partner with Nikhil Gandhi’s Sea King Infrastructure on a $500 million private equity fund.

Iceland-based investment bank Askar Capital will reportedly launch a $500 million India-focussed fund in equal partnership with Sea King Infrastructure (SKIL), an infrastructure-focussed company backed by Nikhil Gandhi.

Tryggvi Herbertsson, Askar’s chief executive, told India’s Economic Times that the private equity fund will target small- to medium-sized Indian and South-East Asian businesses.

“Private equity is a core business area for Askar Capital globally. Our investment strategy in India will primarily be in the domain of real estate, infrastructure and private equity,” he told the newspaper. “The setting up of this private equity platform in India is another important step for us in growing our business in this region.”

Both firms will manage private equity investments. Askar’s managing director in charge of Indian business is Pavan Bakshi.

The Icelandic firm has recently stepped up its private equity activities. Earlier in the month, it opened an office in Romania in order to better invest in the region’s private equity and real estate opportunities, and it also launched a €150 million fund of funds with German fund of funds group VCM Capital Management and US asset manager Resource America.

SKIL group owns India’s Pipavav Shipyard, and is currently working on a $2.1 billion tourism project in Himachal Pradesh, according to Indian blog VC Circle.