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ICICI Venture raises $700 mn in 2012

Closes $100-mn realty fund raising for infrastructure, special situation funds in full swing hopeful of turnaround in sentiment

Reghu Balakrishnan  |  Mumbai 

ICICI Venture (I-Ven), one of India’s largest private equity entities, was able to raise funds faster last year.

In 2012, it successfully closed a $100-million (Rs500 crore) second real estate fund, the India Advantage Fund Real Estate Series 2. Through its real estate and other funds, it raised $700 million last year.

I-Ven made two investments from the new realty fund. One was in a group housing project in the National Capital Region (NCR) region, being developed by Advance India Projects Ltd. The other was in a Mumbai-based, high-end residential project, of Ahuja Developers. It is learnt about Rs100 crore was invested in both. The real estate fund will primarily focus in projects in the bigger cities — Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune.

I-Ven also manages the $550-million India Advantage Fund Real Estate Series 1. This fund is fully committed across 13 investments.

Year 2012 witnessed a better fund-raising scene in the real estate sector. As many as 14 funds raised a total of about $1 billion (Rs5,000 crore) against $900 million raised through nine funds in 2011 and a mere $200 million raised in 2010 through four funds.

According to sources in the know, the company has commitment worth $275 million for its infrastructure fund and is likely to soon announce the first closure. The $500-million India Infrastructure Advantage Fund was launched in July 2010. It proposes to invest in various sub-sectors such as power, roads, ports, airports, railways, telecom and urban & social infrastructure.

Refusing to disclose the figures, Vishakha Mulye, chief executive officer, said: “We have raised new commitments in 2012 across our offerings, a satisfactory outcome, given the weakness in the global fund-raising environment. It has been an extremely challenging marketing process due to the negative sentiment around India. One is hopeful of a turnaround in the global sentiment among LPs (limited partners, or investors) on India in the new year, although one is yet to see concrete signs of it.”

AION, a special situation fund jointly owned by ICICI Venture and Apollo Global, raised $325 million last year. The $750-million fund, with focus on investments in distressed assets, was launched in 2011. A recent report by Bain & Company said, “Fund-raising has become increasingly difficult. LPs say they have become far more selective, evaluating re-ups and managing their investments more closely than ever to ensure capital protection, better returns and appropriate liquidity.”

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First Published: Thu, January 10 2013. 00:52 IST