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Exclusive: Amicus Capital hits first close for maiden private equity fund

04 December, 2016

Amicus Capital Partners, a Bangalore-based mid-market focussed private equity firm launched last year, has marked the first close for its maiden fund, a person privy to the development told VCCircle.

As first reported by VCCircle, Amicus was aiming at a $200 million corpus in its first outing and is sticking to the same target. It has now made the first close at $90 million, or just under the mid-way mark.

The firm, which was floated by seasoned private equity professionals Sunil Theckath Vasudevan and Mahesh Parasuraman, has raised a bulk of the money from offshore investors in Asia and Europe. While a bulk of the money flowing into Indian PE and VC funds still comes from American Limited Partners (LPs), the actual investors in such funds, a few PE firms lately have seen significant LP commitment from investors in Asia and Europe.

A group of fund-of-funds and family offices from Asia and Europe backed Amicus Capital in its first fund, the person cited above said. It also received commitments from a few entrepreneurs who have worked with the co-founders of the firm in the past.

Out of the total, $85 million has been raised from offshore LPs and $5 million from domestic investors. The money has been raised across two entities: Amicus Capital Partners India Fund I and Amicus Capital Private Equity I LLP. These two entities were registered as a category II alternative investment fund by capital market regulator SEBI in August and September, respectively.

When contacted by VCCircle, a spokesperson for Amicus Capital confirmed the fundraising milestone but did not share details.

The firm is now understood to be screening various companies for investment and is expected to ink the first deal by March 2017.

Amicus Capital would look to pick up a significant minority stake in its target companies in lieu of its investments and may also do a few buyout deals. According to the LinkedIn profile of the firm’s top team members, it has set a sweet spot of $8-25 million to put in each portfolio firm.

Amicus Capital team

Amicus Capital was floated by Sunil Vasudevan, former partner at India Value Fund Advisors, and Mahesh Parasuraman, former managing director at Carlyle India Advisors Pvt Ltd.

Vasudevan had quit IVFA in 2014 after almost 14 years during which time it became established as one of the top homegrown PE funds. A year after he quit, IVFA raised one of the largest sector-agnostic PE funds to invest in India. He had a contract which disallowed him to start any competing fund for a year after leaving the firm, so Amicus was floated last year.

He has done many marquee deals for IVFA including Aster DM Healthcare, Trinethra and Biocon. While IVFA has exited two of these-it sold retail chain Trinethra to Aditya Birla Group and exited Biocon through open market transactionit is looking to partially exit in Aster DM Healthcare’s proposed IPO.

Prior to join IVFA, Vasudevan was associated with the investment team of ICICI Venture Funds for seven years and with Larsen & Toubro in its project management team for power and petrochemical projects for three years.

Parasuraman quit Carlyle to join him when the firm floated its operations last year. Carlyle has two separate teams operating in India—while one looks after growth equity deals, the other invests in larger opportunities, including buyouts. Parasuraman was part of the team looking after the former unit, which has been more active in the country.

He was involved in investments including Tirumala Milk Products, Repco Home Finance, Newgen Knowledge Works, LearningMate and Elitecore Technologies. Carlyle struck notable exits from some of these, including Tirumala (sale to Lactalis) and Repco (open market share sales besides part-exit to Creador).

Before joining Carlyle in 2004, Parasuraman worked with EY (formerly Ernst & Young) and Arthur Andersen.

The four member team at Amicus Capital now includes Ajith Nair, formerly with Peepul Capital and PepsiCo; and Avishek Addy, who was previously with Faering Capital and Astro.

The firm is in the process of hiring around three-four more personnel and is setting up an office in Bangalore, the person cited above said.

Second wave of maiden fund offerings

Amicus Capital joins the second wave of firms founded by private equity professionals who have become new-generation fund founders.

The first wave included setting up of CX Partners by Ajay Relan (former CVCI India head),  ICICI Venture veteran Renuka Ramnath floating Multiples Private Equity besides creation of MCap by former Baring Private Equity India executive Subbu Subramaniam, Kedaara Capital (by former Temasek and General Atlantic executives) and Creador (former ChrysCapital executive).

Some of them are now out to raise their second funds.

Allowing for a lull in new fund launches when LPs tightened their purse strings to Indian PE funds, a new breed of professionals once again began launching their own PE firms in the last two to three years.  

HDFC chairman Deepak Parekh’s son Siddharth Parekh quit Actis to launch Paragon Partners, which announced its first close earlier this year.

Former KKR executive Heramb Hajarnavis quit KKR to float PE firm Sealink Capital Partners, which marked its debut investment earlier this year.  

In December 2015, former ChrysCapital executive Gulpreet Kohli raised $100 million for a PIPE fund, or a fund that makes private investments in public equities.

Former India Equity Partners’ executives have also raised a bulk of the money in their maiden fund under Carpediem Capital.

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Exclusive: Amicus Capital hits first close for maiden private equity fund

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