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ICICI may list $1.5bn real estate fund

The fund, one of the largest targeting real estate in India, will reportedly consider a public listing on the London Stock Exchange at any point during its lifespan.

ICICI Venture Fund Management, the largest domestic Indian private equity fund with about $2.5 billion in assets, is considering listing its closed-end $1.5 billion (€950 million) real estate fund on the London Stock Exchange, sources have told India’s Business Standard newspaper.

According to people familiar with the matter, the fund is being structured in such a way as to make it possible to list the portfolio at any point during its lifespan. ICICI declined to comment on the report.

The fund first sprang to life in October 2006, when chief executive officer Renuka Ramnath said it would raise money from both domestic and international investors and target commercial and residential developments in India’s 12 largest cities.

Rather than leaving a public listing as an exit option, ICICI is reportedly including the listing option in the document that would allow it to list at any time. The fund would join several other Indian real estate funds which have raised money from the London Stock Exchange, particularly from its Alternative Investment Market (AIM), as was seen with with Trikona Capital’s Trinity fund.

In 2006, ICICI launched a $500 million real estate fund. The firm has since then expanded its strategy to buy and manage completed commercial and residential properties. ICICI Venture was set up in 1987 and has $2 billion under management, including $550 million in a real estate fund. The firm also has a 50-50 joint venture with Tishman Speyer Properties called TSI Ventures, which was launched in 2005 to invest in Indian property. Along with the real estate fund it is currently raising a $1.5 billion buyout fund.