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WestBridge gets commitments of $200 mn in three months

Raghuvir Badrinath  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

WestBridge Capital Partners, which was revived during mid-February 2011, is understood to have got soft commitments to the tune of $200 million within a period of just three months from a range of global bluechip limited partners who are looking to deploy their resources in India. According to private equity industry players, WestBridge is expected to get commitments of $500 million by the end of 2011. WestBridge Capital Partners offered not to comment.

WestBridge is among the many funds who are on the road raising India-focussed funds and close to $6 billion is being raised in 2011, according to independent research. During 2010, a total of $15.5 billion was raised as part of the India investment story.

K P Balaraj, Sandeep Singhal, S K Jain and Sumir Chadha, the four founding partners of WestBridge split from Sequoia India to set up this new fund which will exclusively focus on taking positions in publicly-held Indian companies. The four had exited Sequoia India as that fund is passive on public markets.

The four founding members continue to be on the board of around 20 companies in which Sequoia invested and will continue to be there until an exit happens.

Westbridge, founded in 2000, had raised two funds before merging with Sequoia Capital in May 2006. By the time these four partners exited, Sequoia had assets worth $1.8 billion and has around $600 million left to invest from various India-focussed funds.

In a recent interview with Business Standard, Chadha had said that they are now seeing the growth stage of public markets in India, similar to the kind of growth stage of venture capital they saw in 2000 when their venture fund was started.

“There are very few strong organised players who are into value investing in public markets. Also, the ecosystem is nascent. We intend to capitalise on this,” Chadha had stated. In addition to WestBridge entering the public market space, ChrysCapital and Nalanda Capital are the other two well-know names which have made a mark in public markets. Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Limited, also runs a $1 billion private and public equity fund with a majority focus on public markets.

Fund Manager            Amount $Mn Date
Alcor-Worbus 800       Jan-11
Srei Infra Finance 750       May-11
Nomura Holdings  500       Mar-11
Equis Funds 500       Feb-11
Accel Growth 400       Jan-11
Source: Venture Intelligence

According to industry analysts, there is an increasing trend of PIPE deals (Private Investment in Public Markets) in the market place with more and more funds looking at this segment.

According to data from Venture Intelligence, a research service focussed on Private Equity and M&A, so far during 2011, a total of 21 deals has been executed worth $633 million. During entire 2010, a total 38 deals were done worth $708 million.

First Published: Fri, June 03 2011. 00:01 IST