Franklin Templeton Investments, the global investment firm, has closed an India-focused private equity fund on 6 billion Indian rupees ($140 million; €90 million), according to Indian daily Business Standard. The fund has been raised in just two months, almost completely from Indian high net worth individuals.
Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy will invest only in private companies and will not maintain any exposure to the public markets.
The report quoted Vivek Kudva, president of Franklin Templeton Investments’ India operations, as saying: “We had launched Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy in April for Indian investors, focusing on unlisted companies in infrastructure services, manufacturing and consumer-driven sectors.”
Franklin Templeton Investments provides mutual fund investment services to customers in India.
Considering that the firm already makes private equity investments in India through its subsidiary Darby Overseas Investments, the move to raise a private equity fund on its own is perhaps a reflection of individual investors’ reluctance to invest in the Indian stock markets that are currently at their lowest levels this year owing to a variety of reasons, chief among which are high crude oil prices and consequently, double-digit inflation.
Darby Overseas Investments, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton, is currently investing in India out of Darby Asia Mezzanine Fund II, a $300 million fund that has made three investments in the country, the most recent of which was the acquisition of a minority stake in Coffee Day, a coffee conglomerate, for $25 million.
Franklin Templeton Investments could not be reached for comment.