New York-based Apollo Management, which has assets in excess of $40 billion under management, is the next private equity biggie to open an India office. The firm has appointed Mintoo Bhandari to head the India operations, who was till now a partner at the UK unit of Apollo Management. He is currently in the process of putting together a team in Mumbai.
Apollo Management’s real estate investment arm, Apollo Real Estate Advisors, currently runs a $650 million real estate private equity fund in India in partnership with Delhi-based Khemka family’s SUN group. Apollo is currently investing from its sixth private equity fund, Apollo Investment Fund VI, L.P., which together with related co-investment entities, involves about $12 billion of new capital.
Prior to joining Apollo Management, Bhandari was the principal founder and a Managing Director of The VIEW Group, which is venture capital firm based out of Boston. Formed in 1992, the firm was invested in companies in India and the US. A Harvard Business School alumni, he has also worked with Harvard Private Equity Group, where he was involved in private equity investments across a wide range of industries. He has also managed two public markets funds for Harvard, a risk arbitrage fund and a traditional hedge fund.
Apollo joins a list of funds setting up offices in India. Europe’s leading private equity house Candover has appointed Harsha Raghavan from Goldman Sachs to head its India unit. Also UK’s mid-market focused private equity fund Englefield Capital is setting up an office in India and has appointed Dinesh Waswani to co-head its operations.
Australia’s Babcock & Brown recently opened its India unit by hiring eight key managers from ABN Amro India. Rabobank has also launched its first private equity fund in India focusing on food and agri business. Also Lloyds TSB Development Capital (LDC), the private equity arm of the UK-based Lloyds TSB, is drawing it Asia strategy in which India will figure prominently.
Apollo Management was founded in 1990 by Leon Black.
The firm is focused on private equity and leveraged buy outs with investments in underperforming companies and distressed assets. Certain sectors where it looks to invest are chemicals, supply chain management, BPO, media, healthcare and transport. Apollo has been involved in some big buyouts. In 2006, along with Texas Pacific Group, it bought out US casino operator Harrah’s for $17.1 billion. Apollo also bought GE Advanced Materials from General Electric in 2006, and renamed it as Momentive Performance Materials in a deal valued at approximately $3.8 billion