The decision to go independent is proving to be a big booster for Axis Private Equity Ltd.

The PE firm, which is in the process of spinning off from parent firm Axis Bank, is likely to achieve the second close of its fund at $250 million this year. 

The PE firm has apparently seen a lot of investor interest following its move of becoming an independent entity.

The PE firm has raised about $150 million for its fund Axis India Fund so far. According to industry experts, the strategy of spinning off the PE arm from the bank as a separate entity has brought more confidence in the fund by offshore limited partners (LPs) as they were earlier concerned over the possible conflict of interest between the bank and the PE arm.

Alok Gupta, MD& CEO, Axis PE, told VCCircle, “The strategy of the new structure will be reflected in our fund-raising as investors are keen on further investments now. We are expected to announce the second close of Axis India Fund by this year.” However, he declined to disclose the target for the second close.

There are some positive developments from the quarters of Axis PE's portfolio firms as well. Neesa Leisure, which develops and operates resorts and hotels under the Cambay brand, where Axis invested Rs 75 crore, is likely to float an IPO this year to raise about Rs 150-200 crore, according to banking sources.

Axis PE signed only a single deal last year with a Rs 54-crore investment in Shalivahana Green Energy Limited (SGEL) in June. Secunderabad-based SGEL is a leading renewable energy company with focus on development and operation of biomass and small hydro power projects. Acording to banking sources, the deal may yield better return if Axis PE was to seek an exit.

Its other deals include Rs 67 crore in Corrtech International, in the oil and gas transportation infrastructure business, an investment of Rs 126 crore in Delhi-based railway line manufacturer Harish Chandra India Ltd (HCIL) and Rs 60 crore in Vishwa Infrastructures and Services, which executes projects in the water supply and sanitation sector.

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