(Mitsui Global Investment), the private equity arm of the Japanese conglomerate Mitsui & Co., Ltd, has opened an India office in Mumbai and set up MGI Group India Pvt Ltd, which will build a local team and invest across several sectors.

Mitsui Global Investment will hold 95 per cent stake in the India arm while the rest 5 per cent will be held by its parent firm Mitsui & Co, according to a statement issued today. Mitsui Global Investment comes under Mitsui & Co’s financial & new business unit and it has appointed managing director Tetsuya Koide as its India representative.

Mitsui Global Investment has started investing in Indian companies over the last 2-3 years. Last year, it invested $12 million in Mumbai-based Suvidhaa Infoserve Pvt Ltd, which provides Internet-based payment collection services for various industries. It had also picked up stake in, an online classifieds player. Yasushi Okazaki, general manager of the Internet business division of Mitsui & Co, sits on the boards of both companies.

Mitsui & Co’s other investments in India include Transystem Logistics International Pvt Ltd, Indian Steel Corporation Ltd and Arch Pharmalabs Ltd.

“Mitsui’s financial and new business unit, which invests globally, names India as one of the prime investing regions and has led to the establishment of MGI Group India to expedite full-scale private equity investment in the country. MGI will hire and train local staff and build personnel networks to provide an investing foothold for Mitsui in India. It will also continue to make investments which not only support continuous change for Mitsui as a general trading company but also embody its spirit of ‘challenge and innovation’ by contributing to the creation and expansion of India’s new industries and markets,” Mitsui Global Investment said in a statement.

Some of the targeted sectors in India will include consumer retail and healthcare areas, basic industries that peripherally support economic growth, such as auto components and construction materials, and services industries. Mitsui Global Investment has offices in the Silicon Valley, New York, Shanghai, Beijing and London.

Founded in 1947, Mitsui & Co is one of the largest sogo shosha or general trading companies from Japan (others include Mitsubishi Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation). It has presence in businesses like energy, machinery, chemicals, food, textile, logistics, finance and more. In the year ending March 31, 2011, Mitsui had total revenues of $55 billion and a net income of $3.6 billion.

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