Former Citi exec's fund closes on $515m

Former CVCI India head Ajay Relan will make growth equity investments in the Indian mid-market through the newly formed CX Partners.

Delhi-based CX Partners, the private equity firm set up by former Citi Venture Capital International India head Ajay Relan, has raised $515 million for the close of its maiden private equity fund.

The firm started fundraising towards the end of 2008 and was targeting commitments of between $500 million and $600 million. CX Partners had seen a first close for the fund on more than $200 million in March 2009. UBS placed the fund.
Investors in the fund include financial institutions, funds of funds, family offices and pension funds from Asia, Europe and North America, Tom Addison from the Asia Pacific Private Funds Group at UBS, told PEI Asia.

“UBS views the outcome as a fantastic result, particularly in light of the extremely difficult fundraising environment, which is a testament to the credentials that Ajay Relan and his respective partners have in making private equity investments in India over multiple economic cycles,” Addison said. 

Ajay Relan

Morgan Creek Capital Management, Asia Alternatives and China Development Industrial Bank are among the limited partners in CX Partners’ maiden fund, sources told PEI Asia. Addison declined to confirm this. 

CX Partners Fund I will provide growth capital to mid-market companies in Asia. While the fund does not have a sector-focus, it will largely make investments in consumption-driven sectors. 

The firm marked its debut deal with an investment of around $33 million for an 8 percent stake in steel company Monnet Ispat in April. It is now reportedly backing Convexity, a newly established equity broking and portfolio advisory services firm with a focus on derivatives.

CX Partners was established in August 2008 following Relan’s departure from CVCI, where he pioneered the firm’s Indian business following its inception in 1995. He was with the firm for 13 years before making a decision to pursue his own venture. 

The firm’s other partners include Jayanta Basu and Vivek Chhachhi, both formerly directors at CVCI India, and Amit Bhatiani, formerly a partner at US hedge fund Duma Capital.

Last month, another spinout, Renuka Ramnath-led Multiples Alternate Asset Management, saw a first close on its maiden fund on $250 million. That fund is targeting $400 million and has a $450 million hard cap.