Pravi Capital Planning $200 Million Fund

(Reuters) – Domestic private equity firm Pravi Capital, set up by former ICICI Venture executives, plans to raise $200 million to invest as growth capital in privately held Indian companies, a top official said.

Pravi Capital was founded by executives including three officials who held senior management posts in ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of No.2 Indian lender ICICI Bank (ICBK.BO).

“We are in the process of putting the rest of the team together, including operating experts. We are planning to raise $200 million, and will start the fundraising process in the last quarter of this year,” Jayanta Banerjee, one of the founding partners at Pravi Capital, told Reuters.

Banerjee, who was the president of the private equity practice at ICICI Venture, along with two other directors, Anand Vyas and Sunay Mathure, left the fund in May this year. ICICI Venture manages more than $2 billion of assets.

“We prefer to invest in the lower-end of the mid-market segment, where the founding team has relevant experience. The funds would be segment-specific rather than sector specific,” Banerjee said.

While private equity firms globally look for buyouts, entrepreneurs in India are often reluctant to sell, and where full buyouts are rare.

“Our strategy would be to pick significant equity stakes in companies where promoters are looking for a value-adding financial partner,” Banerjee said.

“We will stay invested over 4-5 years during which period we will work alongside the promoters on strategic, financial and operating aspects of the companies that we invest in.” Private equity investment in India has picked up momentum in recent months with deals worth $2.05 billion in the first half of this year as compared to $964 million in the same period last year, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reporting by Indulal P.M.; editing by Surojit Gupta)