By 23 December, 2009

The private equity unit of India's Kotak Mahindra Bank is getting set for IPOs and the sale of some portfolio firms as exit opportunities are opened up by this year's strong market rally, a top official said.

The firm, which manages $750 million in funds and boasts a portfolio of 20 companies, is looking to take two companies public in the fiscal year beginning April 2010, Nitin Deshmukh, chief executive of Kotak's private equity arm, told Reuters.

"We are gearing up for strategic exits, as well as some IPOs," he said in an interview, adding four or five of the unit's firms were drawing interest from investors.

"The exit environment has come back. Companies will look to capitalise on the FY11 projections," said Deshmukh, who has more than 20 years experience in venture capital and private equity.

Indian corporate profits are reviving as the world economy recovers from a sharp slowdown, helping companies attract better valuations. The benchmark index has risen by three-quarters in 2009, to be among the best performing in Asia.

Deshmukh said Kotak Private Equity was hoping to close at least a couple of investments in 2010, despite rising valuations.

Kotak will focus on companies that rely on domestic consumption, infrastructure-service providers and global manufacturing and services firms, he said, adding he was comfortable with deal sizes of $20 to $30 million.

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