Ascent Capital management buys out UTI Ventures’ stake in the PE firm
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The management team of Ascent Capital Advisors India Pvt. Ltd, headed by Raja Kumar, has acquired sole control of the mid-market private equity firm from UTI Asset Management Company Ltd (UTI AMC).

This completes the process that was initiated seven years ago as Ascent Capital was created after a spin out from UTI Venture Funds Management Company Ltd, which in turn is a part of UTI AMC. UTI AMC is one of the top mutual fund managers in the country and also runs other portfolio management funds including one under National Pension Scheme.

Mint first reported the development related to Ascent Capital citing a UTI AMC spokesperson.

When contacted by VCCircle, an executive with Ascent Capital declined to comment while UTI AMC did not respond to a request for comment.

This is one of a string of such cases where an existing team of a private equity or venture capital firm moved out to float independent investment advisory firm while also managing the previous funds or portfolio. Some other such fund houses include Lightbox, Rising Straits Capital and Fairwinds Private Equity.

Ascent Capital

The mid-market PE firm had last raised a new fund way back in 2009. At that time, it scooped some $350 million.

According to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle, it is also managing the two previous funds raised under UTI Ventures—one worth $35 million raised in 2000 and the other with a corpus of $153 million raised in 2004.

However, the firm’s website claims it has assets under management of $600 million.

The PE firm has been active with four to five deals in 2014 and 2015. However, it closed just one new deal in 2016 so far, according to VCCEdge.

In May this year, Ascent Capital backed existing portfolio firm Maiyas Beverages and Foods Pvt. Ltd. The firm raised Rs 200 crore (about $30 million) from investors led by private equity firm Peepul Capital, which invested about 80% of the total amount while existing investor Ascent Capital put in the remaining amount.

It also clocked one exit when online payments Citrus Payments Solutions Pvt. Ltd got acquired by South African media and Internet conglomerate Naspers Ltd in an all-cash deal, among one of the larger M&As in the space.

It has also part or fully exited two other firms this year—Strand Life Sciences Pvt Ltd and Shriram EPC Ltd.

The PE firm invests across sectors such as technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer brands and infrastructure. Its typical investment size is in the range of $10 million to $30 million.

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