CLSA invests in India water purifier

The Hong Kong-based firm has taken a stake in a developer of reverse osmosis water purifiers based in Gurgaon, India.

CLSA Capital Partners has invested INR 550 million (€7 million; $9.2 million) in India-based Luminous Water Technologies, according to a statement from CLSA.

LWT, which is based in Gurgaon, India, designs and manufactures reverse osmosis water purifiers for the Indian domestic market under the brand Livpure. CLSA intends to help the company increase production capacity and build its brand, according to the statement.

The potential household market for water purifiers in India is $850 million and growing at 20 percent annually, Nitin Agarwal, a CLSA senior vice president in India, told Private Equity International.

“There is increasing consumer disposable income, increasing health awareness and low water purity standards. Product penetration is only 8-12 percent, so there is significant headroom for these kind of products.”

The investment was the first in Asia from CLSA’s ARIA IV fund, according to the firm. Fund IV is still in the market.

Premal Ved, a CLSA senior vice president in India, said his firm had previously developed a relationship with LWT’s founders, who owned Luminous Power Technology, a power supply maker. CLSA invested in Luminous in 2007 and exited in 2011.

CLSA sees opportunity
 in India's growing
 demand for purified
 drinking water

CLSA has had six exits in India from earlier funds through public listings, trade sales and redemptions, Miranda Tang, CLSA managing director, told PEI in an earlier interview. The firm currently has six India investments under active portfolio management.

In February, CLSA invested $10 million into Beijing-based Scinor Water, a developer of clean water technology, alongside existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, PEI reported earlier. The investment was from CLSA’s $115 million Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund.

CLSA Capital Partners has $2.6 billion in assets under management and offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. The firm manages several private equity funds, including ARIA Investment Partners, Japan-focused CLSA Sunrise Capital and Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund.

Currently CLSA has six Indian companies under active portfolio management.