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Burmans enter fray for Milestone Capital

Race for acquiring the private equity firm heats up Dabur promoters? entry puts suitors at half a dozen

Reghu Balakrishnan  |  Mumbai 

The race for acquiring Milestone Capital, the private equity firm based here, is getting intense. The Burman brothers, Mohit and Gaurav, promoters of the Dabur group, have joined it by filing a bid.

Milestone has been on the block after the death in August last year of its founder-CEO, Ved Prakash Arya. The Burman brothers already own Elephant Capital Plc, the UK-based PE firm. Milestone Capital manages assets worth $800 million (Rs 4,000 crore) and has attracted five to six bids from suitors Ashmore Investment Manage-ment, Edelweiss Capital, Dewan Housing Finance and Religare Enterprises, among others. Standard Chartered Bank has been given the mandate to find buyers.

“We have nothing to comment so far,” a Milestone spokesperson said. Mohit Burman, managing director of Elephant Capital, also refused to comment.

According to sources, it is to avoid objections from investors in Elephant Capital that the Burmans have decided to bid on their own for Milestone. Mohit and Gaurav are already on an expansion drive for their financial services business. In November, they’d entered into a joint venture with Portugal’s Espírito Santo Investment Bank, where the Burmans will hold 25 per cent.

Rs 230-cr fund for residential and commercial projects
Rs 510-cr fund for residential and warehousing projects
Rs 500 cr for residential projects in Tier-I cities
Rs 400-cr fund for warehouses and logistic parks
Rs 525-cr fund for commercial office spaces and IT/ITeS parks
Rs 525-cr fund for commercial office spaces and IT/ITeS parks
Rs 450-cr fund for education and health care

Elephant Capital (previously named Promethean India Plc) was launched in April 2007 as a fund listed on the Alternative Invest-ment Market, the London Stock Exchange’s international market for smaller growing So far, the $100-million fund has made about eight investments, in such as Amar Chitra Katha, EIH Ltd, Air Works India Engineering and ClinTech International.

Apart from Elephant Capital, the Burman family run another PE fund, called Asian Healthcare Fund, launched by Anand Burman with former Dabur Pharma CEO Ajay Kumar Vij. The fund, where Anand Burman invested $20 million, raised Rs 180 crore recently.

Milestone, through its JV with Religare, called Milestone Religare, runs a Rs 450-crore domestic fund for investments in the health care and education sectors. It invested in IMS Learning Resources, CARE Ratings and Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences. In the real estate space, Milestone runs four funds, including three domestic ones with a combined corpus of Rs 1,240 crore and an $80-million offshore fund. Under a JV with IL&FS, Milestone runs two funds with a size of Rs 525 crore each.

Another bidder, Dewan Housing Finance Corporation, had relaunched its erstwhile asset management company (DHFL Venture Capital India) as a new firm, ArthVeda Fund Management, last year. ArthVeda has plans to raise Rs 200 crore to invest in real estate projects.

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First Published: Wed, January 25 2012. 00:49 IST