Gaja Capital eyes first close of new $250M fund by year end; IFC commits up to $25M

Gaja Capital Partners, a mid-market private equity firm known for its investments in the education sector, is raising $250 million for its second fund. The firm is looking to make a first close by end of 2013 or early 2014 at over $75 million.

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is looking to commit up to $25 million or around 10 per cent of the total targeted corpus of the fund. The World Bank has earlier invested in portfolio companies of Gaja Capital, including listed education company Educomp and Kolhapur-based private lender Ratnakar Bank.

Gaja Capital II, advised by Gaja Advisors, is a generalist private equity fund focusing on growth capital deals in mostly unlisted mid-market companies and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The fund would look to invest $15-30 million on an average in 6-10 fast growing companies as equity and equity-linked securities.

Gaja Capital, led by co-founders Gopal Jain and Ranjit Shah, is currently investing from a $180 million fund. Gaja Capital has a long association with the education sector and earlier this year backed a management buyout at pre-school chain EuroKids International.

It also invested in Educomp Solutions in 2005 and made a multi-bagger exit in 2011. Gaja Capital has also invested in Educomp's K-12 business, which operates under ‘The Millenium School’ brand.

Gaja Capital's other investments in education and skills training include test preparation firm Career Launcher, K-12 firm Indus World Schools (subsidiary of Career Launcher) and staffing firm TeamLease.

Gaja's other investments include spirits maker John Distilleries, infrastructure ancillary firm Haldia Coke and multi-brand car service chain Carnation Auto.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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