ASK Group raises $205M in new domestic realty fund

Diversified financial services firm ASK Group said on Wednesday it has raised Rs 1,400 crore (about $205 million) through its fourth real estate fund.

The ASK Real Estate Special Opportunities Fund II was floated in October 2014 and will invest mainly in residential projects in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad over a period of 18 to 24 months.

The fund—with a tenure of six years and two extensions of one year each—will look at distressed developers for investments and invest purely through the equity route.

Sunil Rohokale, CEO, ASK Group, said the fund has about 60 per cent repeat investors. “Most of these are family offices and ultra HNI investors," he said.

This is the group's third domestic real estate fund raised in the past seven years. This is also the largest domestic pure equity realty fund raised in the industry in the past five years, it claimed.

The fund had achieved its initial close in March last year. With the closure of this fund, ASK Group’s real estate private equity assets under management or advisory stand at Rs 3,500 crore.

Amit Bhagat, CEO at ASK Property Investment Advisors, the group's real estate investment arm, said the new fund has committed 25 per cent of the corpus through two transactions. He didn’t give any details.

The new fund marks a significant addition to the group’s realty investment platform. ASK Property has also scooped up Rs 1,000 crore (about $146 million) for its maiden offshore fund, people with direct knowledge of the development told VCCircle. It is yet to formally announce this offshore fund.

ASK Group, through its real estate funds, has committed Rs 2,000 crore in 19 projects. In 2015-16, ASK Group invested Rs 365 crore in a Rajesh Lifespaces project in Mumbai’s Vikhroli suburb, Rs 125 crore in ATS group’s Noida project and Rs 112 crore in Purvankara Projects' Chennai unit.

Over the past year, the fund has exited three investments it made three years ago. It exited investments in Rajesh Lifespaces with 2.26 times returns, and in Pune with Amit Enterprises and Paranjape Schemes with returns of 2.53 and 1.8 times, respectively, it said in a statement.

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