Asian Healthcare Fund, floated by Dabur Group chairman Anand Burman and former Dabur Pharma CEO Ajay Kumar Vij, has raised Rs 180 crore for the first close of the debut fund. Burman, who is chairman of the firm and CEO Vij are the main promoters of the Delhi-based private equity firm that will invest exclusively in India’s healthcare and life sciences sectors.
The money for the first close has been raised from domestic investors, primarily from institutions and high networth individuals (HNIs), said Ajay Vij, CEO at Asia Pacific Healthcare Advisors when contacted by VCCircle.
The fund will now look to raise money from overseas investors or limited partners (LPs) around the end Q1CY12. The target size for Asian Healthcare Fund has not been finalised.
The Burman family is anchoring Asian Healthcare Fund, putting in around $20 million, thus having a significant "skin in the game." The Dabur group chief’s involvement in the fund is in his personal capacity and not as chairman of Dabur India, clarified Vij.
Vij worked for over 13 years to build oncology specialist Dabur Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by German health care firm Fresenius Kabi, reportedly for $400 million back in 2008.
The team also includes former Dabur Pharma CFO Shailendra Tandon. Sanuj Ravindran, who worked with New York-based healthcare and life sciences focused fund Radius Ventures, is a managing director with the firm. It also has Mario Gobbo, former head of life sciences investments at World Bank arm IFC, as a venture partner on board.
Asian Healthcare Fund is currently looking at deals of around Rs 40 crore per company, focusing primarily on growth capital transactions where it can end up with a significant minority stake. The firm is also looking at opportunities where it may end up with a stake of over 50 per cent given the valuations/size of the company.
Vij said that healthcare is growing field with opportunities that are complex in nature which can be addressed by the operationally experienced team at Asian Healthcare Fund.
The fund has several prospective deals in the pipeline, from which it hopes to close a few transactions in the next two-three months.
The PE firm plans to invest across India’s healthcare sector, focused on companies that are into direct healthcare delivery, indirect healthcare services, medical devices and equipment, diagnostics, specialised manufacturing and bio-pharmaceutical R&D services.
While Evolvence India Lifesciences Fund is the only dedicated fund focused on healthcare and lifesciences in the country, there are firms like IndiaVenture Advisors (Ajay Piramal Group) and Milestone Religare who are also focused on the same space. PE firms have also floated vehicles focused on this sector, like Sabre Capital's Spring Healthcare and ICICI Venture's Iven Medicare.
Asian Healthcare Fund is the third known PE firm floated by the members of Burman family in their personal capacity. Dabur group scions Gaurav Burman and his elder brother Mohit Burman also run private equity fund Elephant Capital, which has backed ClinTec International, a global clinical research organisation (CRO). They are also co-promoters of GTI Capital Group, which incubated day care surgery chain Nova Medical Centre.