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Forum Synergies (India) PE Fund Managers, a private equity fund set up by former CEOs, is looking to raise $15 million from International Finance Corporation (IFC) for its India Knowledge-Manufacturing Company. Forum Synergies, which is looking to raise $150 million, is also expecting a second close for this fund at $70 million by December this year.

Forum Synergies has made a first close last year at $35 million and it is now actively looking for deals in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap space. “The first close was done mainly with contributions from HNIs and family offices, and now we are in talks with institutions and fund of funds,” said Samir Inamdar, managing director and CEO of Forum Synergies, while declining to comment on the IFC investment.

The World Bank arm is looking to invest up to $15 million or a maximum 20 per cent of the total combined capital commitments of India Knowledge-Manufacturing, which is raising funds through various vehicles. Last year, Forum Synergies became the fund manager to Madrid-based Axon Capital’s India specific fund, which will co-invest with India Knowledge-Manufacturing Fund.

Forum Synergies is focusing mainly on four buckets – ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), engineering, cleantech and healthcare. It is looking to invest $2 million-$15 million into firms, with revenues between $5 million and $75 million.

Inamdar, who was earlier the CEO at Tyco Electronics and GE Consumer & Industrial in India, has said that Forum Synergies expects to close its first investment in the next 4-6 weeks. The Bangalore-based private equity firm is already at the term-sheet stage with three companies, which are in the engineering and the ICT space.

Forum Synergies is expected to invest in 8-10 companies from its fund. It will also look at companies located in tier II and tier III cities, which are increasingly coming on PE firms’ radar as they look to buy into the Indian consumption story.

Forum Synergies, which has several CEO and entrepreneurs as investors, is also betting on its ability to source deals through this proprietary network, besides investment banking channels.

KR Ravishankar of Strides Arcolab and Sequent Pharma, Sushil Mantri of Mantri Developers Pvt Ltd, Manohar Gopal of Featherlite, Ishwar Subramanian, ex-CEO & managing director of Akzo Nobel, Sudhir Kant, CEO & MD of Millipore India, and Milind Shah, MD at Medtronics are some of the shareholders in the fund management company.

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