Religare Incorporates PE Arm

By Madhav A Chanchani

  • 20 Aug 2008










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sReligare Enterprises’ plans to get into private equity business is official. The Delhi-based broking firm has incorporated an entity for the same called Religare Venture Capital. Sunil Godhwani, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Religare Enterprise, told Business Standard that they are in the process of applying to regulator SEBI for approval.

He also said that the fund would not be managing the firm’s (or group’s) proprietary capital but would be mainly raised from external sources. This is despite the fact that Religare promoters, the Delhi-based Singhs, had recently sold their 34 per cent stake in the family’s flagship business Ranbaxy Laboratories for Rs 9,500 crore ($2.23 billion) to Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo.

Religare already has a JV with Vistaar Entertainment to float a fund to finance films with a targeted corpus of Rs 200 crore.

Religare is a diversified financial conglomerate with presence in equity broking, wealth management and investment banking. Religare has a joint venture with Macquire in wealth management, called Religare Macquarie Wealth Management, which is set for major expansion with the promoters recently announcing a $25 million infusion to expand local operations. It also has an insurance joint venture called Aegon Religare Life Insurance Company between Religare Enterprises, Dutch insurer Aegon and media house Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd. Religare Enterprises is said to be a lead partner with a 44 per cent stake in the venture, while BCCL would have 30 per cent stake. The remaining would be with Aegon.

Religare is not the only financial arm of a major corporate house in the country who is planning a private equity foray. Tata Group, has also firmed up its private equity foray through its financial services arm Tata Capital Ltd (TCL). It plans to launch different private equity funds (of $200-300 million each) focusing on different sectors such as technology, communications, healthcare and midcap space.

Also earlier this month it was reported that Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) is launching a sector agnostic $2-billion private equity fund, which will make investment in the range of $50-75 million. R-ADAG has been making PE investments through Reliance Capital anyways. Private equity arm of Aditya Birla Group, which was launched earlier this year, picked up a 25 per cent stake in Delhi-based retail chain V Mart Retail recently, besides a stake in Core Projects & Technologies.

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