Turnaround specialist Wilbur L Ross Jr is already looking to flip his stake in SpiceJet. In an interview to BusinessWeek, Ross said that he is in talks with Spicejet’s rivals for a potential consolidation. “There are about a half-dozen of these low-cost carriers in India, all losing money,” Ross told the magazine. “There’s room for maybe two.”
That is an interesting development since Ross has just taken exposure in SpiceJet. Ross and Goldman Sachs have invested $100 million in the low cost carrier with the former contributing $80 million of the sum.
Meanwhile, Ross also said that he has set aside a $300 million kitty for India. Ross is looking for investments in sugar, cement, real estate, according to a report in BusinessWeek.
Ranjeet Nabha, who is heading the India operations for Wilbur Ross & Co, said he had been given a mandate to invest in situations where there is some distress and potential for consolidation. Wilbur Ross opened an office in India two years ago when the market was booming and economy was on the upswing. The firm’s first investment in India was acquisition of OCM India Ltd for $37 million in cash from ARCIL.
There is competition coming in the space of special situation investing. Global players in distressed investment such as Ashmore have already established a presence in India with quite a few investments. Ashmore, which specialises in emerging markets, has just raised a special situations fund focusing on Subcontinent and North Africa.Venus Capital Management also has a $100 million Special Situations Fund.
Ross’ advantage is he has an experience in investing in sectors such as steel, automotive components, textiles and mining.