Advent International buys stake in ASK Group
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Private equity firm Advent International has acquired a significant minority stake in advisory and asset management business ASK Group, it said in a statement. 

The firm did not disclose the financial details. However, a person familiar with the transaction told VCCircle that the PE firm has invested $125 million in ASK.

The investment is at the group level, and ASK will use the funds to expand its platform, it said. 

“This will enable ASK Group to scale up existing business, and explore new business opportunities domestically and internationally,” said Sunil Rohokale, managing director and chief executive of ASK Group. 

“ASK plans to build an international franchise for Indian investment opportunities focusing on institutional investors and family offices,” Rohokale said.   

Founded in 1983 by Asit Koticha and Sameer Koticha, ASK has been engaged in portfolio management, wealth advisory, private equity fund management and real estate investment businesses. 

The firm is raising its fifth realty fund, a Rs 2,000 crore special situations fund, which will have a 50% offshore component, Rohokale said.  

The ASK Group raised a $220 million domestic realty fund earlier this year. 

Through its real estate funds, ASK has committed Rs 2,000 crore in 19 projects. In 2015-16, ASK invested Rs 365 crore in a project of Rajesh LifeSpaces in Mumbai’s Vikhroli suburb, Rs 125 crore in ATS group’s Noida project and Rs 112 crore in Purvankara Projects' Chennai unit.

ASK Group also set up a realty focused NBFC this year.   

Meanwhile, its private equity business ASK Pravi, which is a joint venture between ASK Group and Pravi Capital, is looking to deploy its debut fund by this year.

Overall, the firm manages assets of over Rs 29,480 crore ($4.4 billion) across seven offices in India and those in Dubai and Singapore, catering to its international investor base, it said.

Advent International

This transaction is Advent International’s first investment in India from its latest $13 billion global private equity fund, GPE VIII, and its third investment in India over the past two years, according to the PE firm. 

In April 2015, Advent, along with Temasek, acquired a 34% stake in Crompton Greaves for $316 million.

In February 2016, Advent was part of the consortium that invested in engineering services provider QueST Global Services Pte.

In May 2016, the PE firm announced the close of its eighth fund that will focus on five industry sectors—business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom.

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