Exclusive: ICICI targets $500m for Indian private equity

The firm, led by Vishakha Mulye, is back in the market after closing its special situations fund in May

ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of India’s ICICI Bank, has launched a new private equity fund targeting $500 million, a source with direct knowledge of the matter revealed to Private Equity International.  

The firm, led by chief executive officer Vishakha Mulye, has raised three private equity vehicles in the past, most recently a $400 million fund with a 2009 vintage.

Since ICICI’s debut, which was raised in 2003, the firm has delivered a 3x multiple and 50 percent IRR across its products, realising about $750 million worth of exits over the past four years, according to the firm. 

It is also taking a more operational approach to its investments. Mulye said in a recent interview with PEI: “India’s approach to private equity has changed. Investee companies are no longer thinking this is just capital. When they get a PE investment, they also expect value-add, and in fact they are welcoming of it. Today we are spending a lot of time building expertise accordingly.”

ICICI declined to comment on fundraising. 

The new vehicle comes six months after the firm closed a special situations fund with US firm Apollo Global Management, focusing on providing capital to distressed companies in Asia. The fund, which was targeting $750 million, raised $825 million and received a substantial commitment from Hamilton Lane.

ICICI is launching in a reinvigorated fundraising climate in India, joining fellow GPs Everstone Capital Partners and Fairwinds Private Equity (formerly Reliance Private Equity) which are both in the market.

Everstone is targeting $650 million for its third fund, with Fairwinds hoping to raise $350 million following the spin-out from its parent group. Gaja Capital,  Gopal Jain’s India-focused firm, also expects to hit its $250m hard cap after making a first close on $130 million in October.

Despite being cast aside by many in recent years, enthusiasts are certain India is returning to a healthier state.

Juan Delgado-Moreira, managing director at Hamilton Lane, said at a recent PEI event in Mumbai, “India doesn’t really fall off the agenda – and I don’t even think it has been out of favour for that long. I think we are about to see a wonderful fundraising cycle again.”