Edelweiss raises $205M as first close for Special Opportunities Fund II

Mumbai-based financial services firm Edelweiss Financial Services Ltd has raised $205 million for its Special Opportunities Fund II (ESOF II), marking the first close of the fund, the company said in a release.

ESOF II, which will invest in privately-negotiated collateralised credit transactions, received money from a group of new and existing institutional investors, including public pensions and insurance companies. It is being advised by Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors Pte Ltd, Singapore.

"The activity in the alternatives space in India has picked up significantly over the past year and we are seeing exciting opportunities, especially in the credit space," said Ananth Shenoy, head of credit alternatives, global asset management, Edelweiss Group.

The new fund will be the successor of $230 million ESOF I which typically invests $25-30 million in its portfolio companies.

"Credit is a scalable asset class in India and Edelweiss' investment strategy provides a good way to play the India growth story in a risk-adjusted manner. Acceleration of India's economic growth has led to an increasing requirement of capital by business owners in India and we are well-positioned to meet their needs and simultaneously providing the fund investors with an opportunity to participate in the company's growth while avoiding equity-like risk," said Venkat Ramaswamy, executive director and co-head global asset management, Edelweiss Group.

Edelweiss functions through four clusters—credit, financial markets and asset management, life insurance and commodities. It counts PE giant Carlyle among its institutional investors.

The company is expanding its alternative investment funds business by adding venture capital and private equity as asset classes to its existing hedge fund, distressed assets and special situations funds business. It recently appointed Pranav Parikh as head of private equity (PE), seed and venture capital (VC) funds.

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