Former head of 3i Asia Anil Ahuja floating $100M India-focused hedge fund

Private equity firm 3i Group Plc’s former Asia head Anil Ahuja is looking to garner $100 million for an India-focused hedge fund from institutional investors by the end of this year, according to news agency Bloomberg quoting Ahuja. The fund will invest in stocks, bonds and currencies, primarily related to Indian companies.

The hedge fund is officially managed by a unit of India Infoline Ltd, which will charge a 1 per cent annual management fee and 10 per cent as carry.

Ahuja, who left the UK-based publicly traded PE firm 3i in February last year, floated IPEplus Fund 1 with $10 million of his own money and is now seeking to garner $40 million by mid-2014 as the first milestone.

Ahuja joined 3i in April 2005 and has more than two decades of experience in international finance services. He is one of the earliest PE investors in India with over 10 years of investment experience.

VCCircle had first reported in August 2012 that Ahuja, 3i head of Asia and South-east Asia, is quitting the firm.

Two years ago 3i Group said it was planning to cease making any fresh PE investment in India and wanted to focus on the existing portfolio as a part of its new strategy. The London Stock Exchange-listed investor was to build its infrastructure business, where it currently manages a $1.2 billion fund. But in May 2013, 3i Group plc said it plans to stop infrastructure investments in the country.

Ahuja told the news agency that raising a hedge fund seems a better bet as buyouts, the bread and butter of PE firms, are difficult in India.

Prior to 3i Group, he worked with JP Morgan Partners Asia and at Citibank Mumbai.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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