Barely five months after joining the private equity firm Avigo Capital as a Partner, Girija Tripathy has left the company. He is now planning to start a mid-market-focused buyout fund and looking for investors to partner with.
Confirming the move, Tripathy said in a phone interview, “The idea is to look at the untapped mid-market space that offers a huge opportunity for buyouts. The fund will focus on buyouts in the small and mid-market segment and I am working with an investment bank to set it up.”
Although buyouts happen to be a high-growth business for PE investors overseas, they have never made it big in India. Tripathy is, however, bullish on buyouts. “Most of these big global funds focus on deal sizes of $50 million and above, but there is a huge potential in smaller deals and our focus will be that,” he said.
According to a person with direct knowledge of the development, Tripathy is in talks with Singhi Advisors Ltd to start the fund. Tripathy confirmed it but refused to share further details.
Tripathy had joined Avigo in October last year from Singhi Advisors Ltd, a boutique investment bank. He was roped in to help Avigo raise its second fund, a combination of growth and buyout. “Due to poor market conditions, we decided to postpone our fundraising to the second half of 2013-14. Tripathy, who has been a buyout specialist, is now planning to start his own fund along with other financial partners and has decided to move on,” said Achal Ghai, founder and managing partner at Avigo.
Avigo has been active in the Indian private equity space since 2003. It manages a growth and a buyout SME fund in India and is now managing approximately $365 million across three funds. It is currently investing out of its third fund, which had its final closing in June 2010, at $240 million. In fact, Avigo is sitting on uninvested capital of nearly $100 million out of its third fund. Some of the recent investments into its portfolio companies include fashion retailer Spykar and infrastructure service firm AMR Constructions, among others.With more than 15 years of experience in the PE industry, Tripathy was the investment principal at the private equity firm Actis before he moved to Singhi Advisors. Prior to joining the buyout specialist Actis, he had worked with CDC and Lazard India.
Actis was started in July 2004 as a spinout of CDC Group Plc (formerly known as Commonwealth Development Corporation), an organisation established by the UK government in 1948 to invest in developing economies in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. However, the management team at Actis had acquired majority ownership of CDC’s emerging markets investment platform.