Everstone Capital eyes as much as $700M in new PE fund, IFC may put $50M

Private equity firm Everstone is raising a new fund christened Everstone Capital Partners III LP (ECP III) with an aim to raise $650 million with a hard cap of $700 million. The new fund will invest in equity and equity-linked instruments of companies that have significant operations in the Indian sub-continent and cater to or benefit from Indian domestic consumption and infrastructure development expenditures across various sectors.

IFC, which has both direct investments in India as well as limited partner (LP) interest in a clutch of Indian private equity firms, has committed up to $50 million to the proposed PE fund.

It would be one of the biggest India-focused PE funds to be raised in recent times.

AION Capital Partners, a joint venture between Apollo Global Management and ICICI Venture, made a final close of its maiden special situations fund at $825 million early this year.

The biggest India-focused sector agnostic fund ever was raised by ChrysCapital. The PE firm had received commitment for a record $1.25 billion for its fifth fund in 2007, at the peak of the previous bull-run in the market and fast paced growth in the economy. But in 2010, ChrysCap slashed the size of that fund to $950 million.

This remains the largest India-dedicated private equity fund raised to date, excluding infra funds raised by 3i and IDFC. ChrysCap is currently investing out of its sixth fund with a corpus of $510 million raised two years ago. WestBridge Capital currently has $825 million in its evergreen fund.

ECP III is a successor to Indivision India Partners (Fund I), a $425 million 2006 vintage fund, and Everstone Capital Partners II (Fund II), a 2010 vintage fund with $580 million in capital commitments. It has been investing $20-50 million in each firm from the second PE fund.

Everstone Capital, co-founded by Sameer Sain and Atul Kapur, has been an active PE investor in the country. Over the last one year it has partnered Burger King and is in the process of launching the burger chain in India. It has also acquired majority stake in the franchisee of Domino's in Indonesia and invested in fashion label Ritu Kumar besides Madurai-based HR solutions firm Aparajitha.

Through its last fund it has backed companies like Hinduja Leyland Finance, Harry's International, Sohan Lal Commodity Management, S. Chand & Co, Crystal Crop Protection, Indostar Capital and YLG Salon & Spa and Ozone Overseas, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

Through its previous fund it had backed firms like Lilliput Kidswear, Regen Powertech, Global Hospitals, Capital Foods, Asian Genco, Tikona Digital, Nashik Vintners (Sula Wines), Tops Security and VLCC among others. It is currently in the exit mode from this fund.

Besides its sector agnostic funds which have a bias towards consumer services firms, Everstone also has a platform for investment in industrial real estate under IndoSpace Logistics.

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