US-based growth equity investor Summit Parnters, which made its debut investment in India in Krishidhan Seeds last month, is looking at deepening its presence in the country. 

The Boston-based private equity investor, which will invest in India from its global fund, is looking at setting up its India office and building a team of five investment professionals. Summit Partners, however, ruled out any plans for an Asia-specific fund.

Summit Partners, founded in 1984, has raised more than $11 billion in capital and has provided growth equity, recapitalization and management buyout financing to over 300 growing companies across a range of industries and geographies. Its notable investments include E-TEK Dynamics, FleetCor Technologies, McAfee, NightHawk Radiology. Its portfolio companies have completed nearly 125 public offerings and over 125 strategic sales or mergers.

In an interview with VCCircle, Amit Chaturvedy, vice president of Summit Partners, said, “We have plans to establish an India office in 2011 and we plan to incrementally build on the team of five investment professionals focused on Indian investments.” However, he declined to disclose further details.  

Summit Partners is bullish on the India growth story and investment potential. Mr Chaturvedy, said, “India is an entrepreneurial growth market, so our growth investment strategy is a natural fit. We have been looking opportunistically at the Indian market since 2008. India seems to have recovered much faster from the financial crisis as compared to other major economies of the world. We are finding many attractive companies in this geographic market.”

Summit Partners is looking at investing in the range of $10 million to $100 million in companies where it is equally comfortable taking minority or majority positions. “We are focused on sectors such as healthcare, education, consumer products, agriculture, telecom and power. Currently, we are looking at a number of other attractive opportunities and we don’t have a specific target as to the number of investments made or capital invested. 

The Indian private equity landscape had, during the financial meltdown period last year, witnessed three global PE funds shutting their Indian operations due to poor response on their fundraising plans. Last September, UK-based Candover Investments Plc, wound up Indian activities after one year of operations while Australian investment firm Babcock & Brown and UK-based Englefield Capital too closed shop. 

A recent CII-KPMG study said, “India needs about $1.3 trillion investment over the next three years to sustain a GDP growth of 7-9%. This translates to $60-100 billion of VC/PE investments requirement over three years, against which industry estimates that PE investments would be in the range of $9-10 billion in the year ending December 31, 2010.”

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