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IDFC Project Equity, which manages the India Infrastructure Fund, has acquired a significant minority stake in Sahyadri Hospitals Ltd (SHL) for around Rs 190 crore. The deal includes buyout of the stake held by ICICI Venture Fund Management Company Ltd in the Pune-based specialty hospital chain.

The deal will be IDFC Project Equity’s first investment in the healthcare space, helping it diversify further from power utility and transportation segments.

Sahyadri is a chain of 10 hospitals with more than 860 beds across four cities in Maharashtra – Pune, Nashik, Karad and Navi Mumbai. The hospital chain has been promoted by Dr Charudutt Apte, a neurosurgeon, along with Sadanand Bapat and Nitin Desai. The investment from IDFC Project Equity will help Sahyadri add another 1,000 beds in the next five years.

According to Sahyadri, it is the largest chain of multiple speciality hospitals in Maharashtra, which offers general healthcare services, along with specialised services in neurosciences, haematology, cardiac sciences and cytogenetics.

“This transaction marks a profitable exit for ICICI Venture from Sahyadri Hospitals, which it backed in 2008 from its India Advantage Fund V. The investment by ICICI Venture helped Sahyadri grow from a 180-bed hospital chain into a mature facility with 800 operating beds till date,” a statement said.

ICICI Venture invested $36 million or Rs 140 crore in Sahyadri in January 2008 through the IVEN Medicare India platform. The idea was to come up with more hospital beds under the management of IVEN Medicare, which would be the holding company. IVEN’s other investments include Vikram Hospitals Pvt Ltd ($24 million), Medica Synergie Pvt Ltd ($16.5 million) and RG Stone Urological Research Institute ($10 million).

This will be ICICI Venture’s second exit in the healthcare space through a secondary exit after it had sold its stake in Metropolis Healthcare to Warburg Pincus in a $85 million deal.

IDFC Project Equity, which manages an India Infra Fund of $927 million, has earlier invested in power generation firms like Essar Power, Adhunik Power and GMR Kamalanga, and has recently made its first investment in renewable energy by backing Mytrah Energy. It has also invested in road projects of Ashoka Buildcon and Gayatri Projects, besides funding the solid waste management firm Hanjer Biotech.

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