Asian Healthcare Fund, floated by Dabur Group chairman Anand Burman and former Dabur Pharma CEO Ajay Kumar Vij last year, is targeting its first close at $100 million by the end of 2010. The fund targets a size of $200 million.

The fund, which is looking at investments in Indian as well as South East Asian healthcare companies, will have about $20 million investment by the promoters.

In March 2010, Asian Healthcare Fund made its first deal by investing $20 million in Diwan Chand Medical Services Pvt. Ltd, which operates the Diwan Chand Satya Pal Aggarwal Imaging Research Centre- a radiology centre.

Speaking to VCCircle, Ajay Kumar Vij, Co-Founder & CEO, Asian Healthcare Fund, said, “We started fund-raising by early this year and received good responses. We expect to make the first close by end of this year. We also have a good pipeline of investments and hope to close one more deal this year.”

The fund will invest between $5 million and $25 million in plays covering healthcare categories such as diagnostics, clinics, pathology labs, pharmaceutical and medical devices manufacturers. The fund will have an offshore as well as domestic component. “Though we plan a bigger fund once the first fund is raised fully, it is early to talk about it,” Vij said.

Elaborating on the strategy of investing in South East Asian markets, Vij said, “Countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have better healthcare facilities and have high expectation over the future growth. There is also a synergy between the South East Asian firms and the Indian healthcare growth. Also, we have enough experience in those markets as part of Dabur Pharma and we want to utilize that experience to the maximum. Though majority of the fund will be invested in India, enough portions will be pumped into the South East Asian markets,” he added.

Elephant Capital is another fund founded by Dabur group scions Gaurav Burman and his brother Mohit Burman. The London AIM market listed Elephant Capital recently invested Rs 58 crore in ClinTec International, a global clinical research organisation (CRO), for acquiring 28.8% stake.

In 2008, the Burman family sold their pharmaceuticals division Dabur Pharmaceuticals to Fresenius Kabi, a wholly-owned subsidiary of German health care group Fresenius SE.

Other PE healthcare funds active in the Indian space are Evolvence Capital India (a $750-million fund), India Venture Advisors Pvt. Ltd (managed by Piramal Group), $118-million Milestone Religare Fund and Spring Healthcare Pvt. Ltd (a subsidiary of Sabre-Abraaj Fund).

According to VCCedge data, since 1996, about 138 PE/ VC deals worth $2.32 billion took place in the Indian healthcare space.

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