Ambit ventures into principal investments business

Ambit Holdings Pvt Ltd has announced on Thursday its entry into principal investments business, to be led by Sanjay Sakhuja who will be the chief executive officer. Principal investments typically involve investing out of a firm’s own balance sheet as against managing funds on behalf of other clients.

In his earlier role, Sakhuja was heading the team at Ambit Corporate Finance Pte Ltd. He will be now replaced by Chetas Desai who takes over as the CEO of Ambit Corporate Finance from April 1.

Sakhuja has around 30 years of experience in financial services and worked with Citibank, Indal, Arthur Andersen and Lazard Capital. In addition, he has been an advisor to several large Indian and multinational companies across sectors.

Desai has been with Ambit Corporate Finance for six years as a managing director. He also has experience in the financial services space and was earlier with Ambit RSM and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He also has sectoral expertise in real estate, pharmaceutical, auto ancillary and FMCG domains.

Commenting on the development, Ashok Wadhwa, group CEO of Ambit Holdings, said, “Growth comes in with activity and at Ambit, we always look for opportunities for activity that will lead to growth. The announcements of new business and leadership changes are steps taken to continue and excel in the same direction.”

Ambit’s new venture will be in addition to its portfolio of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures; structured finance; public market fundraising; private equity; equities brokerage (institutional, private client) and private wealth management.

The decade-old company has renewed focus across financial services domain since 2007 after being demerged from the consulting practice Ambit RSM. The holding company has split its business into three major verticals – institutional equities, private wealth and investment advisory.

The Ambit Group also advises the Ambit Frontier Fund, a long-short India-dedicated equity fund operating from Mauritius. The Ambit Frontier Fund was launched on December 1, 2009, and recently received $25 million subscription from QInvest LLC’s group entity. The subscription was towards a new Shariah-compliant sub-class created under the fund.

Ambit Pragma, the private equity arm of Ambit, chases growth capital investments in mid-market companies. With a target fund size of $65 million and average investment ticket size of $5-10 million, Ambit Pragma is focusing on sectors like food, entertainment & leisure, healthcare & wellness, logistics and infrastructure services.

The fund has already made three investments which include Spear Logistics, Prasanna Bus Links and Beams Hospitals.

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