This is a rare instance of a non-institutional and independently-led PE fund in India to have raised a significant quantum in a challenging environment and in a short span.
Multiples Alternate Asset Management, promoted by former ICICI Venture veteran Renuka Ramnath, has made the first close of the fund at $250 million. The fund, which is targeting a corpus of $450 million, is expected to announce another close soon.
The corpus raised has a dual fund structure where the domestic portion has been anchored by the India Overseas Bank and Andhra Bank, and the international portion by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and CDC, UK. CPPIB, which is one of the world’s largest private equity investors, has committed up to $100 million to the International Fund. Multiples will be the first India-focused fund to be backed by CPPIB, Multiples said in a statement.
The fund will be sector-agnostic and will make investments in Indian companies, management-led buyouts and spin-offs of divisions from large Indian groups.
The private equity team comprises Sudhir Variyar as Investment Director (formerly senior director at ICICI Venture), Prakash Nene as MD & CFO (formerly Group Director Bharti Enterprises with three decades of experience in financial control, investment and strategy) and Nithya Easwaran as Investment Principal (earlier head of structured finance and private financing, Citibank, Mumbai).
Renuka Ramnath, MD & CEO said, in a statement, “I am very excited and humbled that Multiples has received enormous support from investors in India and abroad. I look forward to building Multiples as a bridge between providers of long-term risk capital and the new generation of capital hungry entrepreneurs in India. I am confident that Multiples will become a firm of international repute with a strong team and an enviable track record.”
Personality Focussed Funds
The PE industry has witnessed, in the recent past, the movement of lot of veterans who have gone solo with their ventures. For instance, Ajay Relan left CVCI (Citgroup Venture Capital International) to form CX partners and is reportedly targeting a close of $250 million; Baring PE honcho Subbu Subramaniam left the firm to form his own fund MCap Advisors; and, most recently, Rajesh Khanna of Warburg Pincus left the private equity major to set up his own fund.
While raising money for such personality-focussed funds is not a challenge as they can leverage their relationships, concerns have remained from the LPs on whether such funds would be able to sustain with best practises and track record.