Asia PE veteran Ahuja leaves 3i

3i's driving force in the region, Anil Ahuja, has left the UK-based private equity firm, which last year closed offices and refocused in key Asian markets.

Managing partner for India and head of Asia at UK-listed private equity firm 3i, Anil Ahuja, has left the firm seven months after it made sweeping cuts across its Asia platform.

3i released a statement saying Ahuja and India-based partner Girish Baliga will leave the firm “to pursue other opportunities”, but remain in touch with the firm through a part-time consultancy agreement. 

Samir Palod, a partner at the firm, has been appointed managing director in Mumbai, with immediate effect, the statement said. Palod joined 3i in 2005 and has worked on the firm’s private equity and infrastructure funds. He will lead 3i’s India team of investment professionals, based in Mumbai and Delhi, focused on managing its infrastructure portfolio.

The firm has not announced a replacement for Asia head and was not available for further comment by press time. 

In June 2012, 3i made substantial cuts across its global platform, in particular in Asia. The firm closed its Hong Kong and Shanghai office, while significantly reducing its headcount in Beijing, Mumbai and Singapore, Private Equity International reported earlier. 

But the firm’s latest interim statement showed its focus on restructuring has started to bear fruit, Simon Borrows, chief executive at 3i, said in a statement in early February.

Interim results showed a decrease in gross debt at the company to £1.21 billion (€1.39 billion; $1.90 billion) at the end of December from £1.25 billion on 30 September 2012 . The company expects to achieve its target of bringing debt down to £1 billion by June 2013, and is confident it can beat its operating costs reduction objectives for the financial year ending March 2013.