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Allianz invests $200 mn in private debt platform of Edelweiss
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Allianz Investment Management, part of German insurer Allianz Group, has invested $200 million (Rs 1,420 crore) in a private debt platform of Indian financial services group Edelweiss.

This investment is the first private-debt commitment by Allianz in India’s stressed assets segment, Edelweiss said in a statement.

Allianz, one of the world’s largest insurers, has been quickly expanding its activities in India. In November, Allianz and Asian logistics real estate developer ESR Group, backed by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, set up a $1 billion platform to invest in India’s logistics sector. The same month, the property investment unit of Allianz acquired its first real estate asset in India when it bought a commercial asset in Pune.

For Edelweiss, this is its second partnership with a global institutional investor in the stressed assets and specialized corporate credit segment. In late 2016, Edelweiss tied up with Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ) to invest in stressed assets.

“Institutional investors are increasingly looking at private debt strategies in India more than ever before,” said Rashesh Shah, chairman and CEO, Edelweiss Group. He said the $1.3-billion Edelweiss India Special Asset Fund-II, which it raised last month, showcases the company’s leadership in the private debt industry.

In January, Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors Ltd, a unit of Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd, raised Rs 9,200 crore ($1.3 billion) for investment in the stressed assets segment.

Venkat Ramaswamy, executive director at Edelweiss Financial, said the partnership with Allianz comes at a time when there is a need for long-term capital in India. “We believe that with the constraints faced by banks and non-banking financial companies, there is huge opportunity for private debt managers.”

Edelweiss Group has raised several funds over the past few years as it grows its investment activities. These funds include pre-IPO fund Edelweiss Crossover Opportunities Fund, Edelweiss Real Estate Opportunities Fund and a $1 billion infrastructure fund. The group also manages the Edelweiss Stressed and Troubled Assets Revival Fund and Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Fund-I. Last year, Edelweiss Alternative Asset launched an infrastructure yield fund that has raised Rs 2,500 crore.

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