Kedaara seals debut investment

The India-focused firm has invested in Mahindra Logistics from its debut $540m fund.

Kedaara Capital has sealed its maiden investment by deploying about INR 2 billion ($32.8 million, €23.7 million) in Indian logistics company Mahindra Logistics, according to a statement.

Mahinda is a subsidiary of the $16.7 billion Mahindra Group. The company was founded in 2000 to serve the transportation needs of Mahindra Group’s automotive sector. Since 2009, the company has been a part of Mahindra Partners, an $800 million private equity group that acquired the company as a turnaround investment.

Kedaara will acquire a minority stake in Mahindra and will help the company expand, according to the statement.

“This is a significant step towards an IPO by 2017 and achieving our vision of being India’s most preferred integrated logistics service provider,” Pirojshaw Sarkari, chief executive officer of Mahindra, said in the statement.

India-focused Kedaara made the investment from its debut fund that closed on $540 million last October. The fund represents India’s largest-ever independent debut vehicle, Private Equity International previously reported.

The fund had an initial target of $500 million and was oversubscribed, attracting investors from across the globe. The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan anchored the vehicle and was joined by other sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, family offices, fund of funds and endowments.

The US dollar fund is accompanied by another tranche vehicle for local rupee investors which was expected to close by the end of 2013. That fund collected about $60 million, bringing the total amount raised closer to its $600 million hard-cap.

Kedaara will continue to invest in buyout opportunities in India. About 90 percent of the investments will be in US dollars and about 10 percent will be in INR. Third party logistics is becoming an increasingly attractive sector in India, according to the firm.

“Mahindra Logistics is uniquely positioned to leverage these tail winds given its scale, differentiated capabilities and high quality professional management team,” Sunish Sharma, a managing partner at Kedaara, said in the statement.

Kedaara is a partnership formed by Clayton Dubilier & Rice and a team of former executives from Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek and private equity firm General Atlantic, who previously worked together at McKinsey & Company in India, according to CD&R’s website.