Baring Asia invests in Indian architecture consultancy

The Asia-focused private equity firm is backing the expansion plans of RSP Design Consultants - Baring's second investment in the construction and infrastructure services sector in India this year.

Baring Private Equity Asia, a Hong Kong-based growth equity firm, has acquired a “significant stake” in RSP Design Consultants, an Indian architecture and engineering firm. The amount invested was not disclosed. 

However, according to Indian daily The Economic Times, the firm has invested $100 million (€68 million) in the company for a 40 percent stake.

RSP Design Consultants is a subsidiary of Singapore-based architectural firm RSP Architects Planners and Engineers. Established in 1996, RSP Design provides services in the areas of planning and feasibility studies, architecture, interior design, urban design, landscaping designs and electro-mechanical engineering. Its portfolio of projects includes IT parks, retail projects, healthcare projects and townships.

Jean Eric Salata, founding partner and chief executive officer of Baring Private Equity Asia, said in a statement: “With such rapid development taking place in India and throughout Asia and the Middle East at the moment, this is the right time and the right industry for Baring Asia to be investing in.”

He added: “With the transformation of this part of the world set to continue, we’re confident that there are many more opportunities to take advantage of.”

The capital infusion will be used to expand operations in new areas and to provide a wider range of services.

Baring Asia made the investment from the Baring Asia Private Equity Fund IV, a $1.52 billion vehicle that the firm closed in May this year. Baring’s Fund IV provides growth capital and makes mid-market buyout investments.

This is the firm’s second investment in the construction and infrastructure services sector in India. Earlier in the year, it acquired a 30 percent stake in Rithwik Projects, a Hyderabad-based infrastructure development company.

Some of its other investments in India include brokerage firms Sharekhan and Karvy Stock Broking; Pratibha Syntex, a textile manufacturer; and Bhushan Power and Steel, a steel manufacturer.

In May this year, Salata said that Baring would invest up to $750 million from its recently closed $1.52 billion fund in the country, according to Indian newspaper Hindu Business Line.

Baring Asia, which has been making investments since 1997, manages assets of more about $2.5 billion across four funds. Its first closed in 1999 and raised $305 million. Subsequent funds were closed in 2002 and 2006 and raised $257 and $490 million respectively. The firm invests in China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and India, and currently has 32 active portfolio companies.

Baring Private Equity Partners India, which is headed by Rahul Bhasin, separately manages $1 billion across three India-dedicated funds.

Baring Asia declined to comment beyond the release.