Lazard plans $100m fund for India

Lazard will anchor the growth fund with a $25m commitment.

Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard plans to set up a private equity fund focused on India and has applied to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of India for necessary regulatory approvals.

The firm plans to raise about $100 million for its first private equity venture in India from overseas and domestic investors, a source said. Lazard would itself commit about $25 million as the chief sponsor, the source added.

It is still “very early days yet” and is not very clear what investment strategy the private equity fund will adopt, but its focus will be on sectors such as consumer services, hospitality, education, food processing, manufacturing, power, logistics, telecom and healthcare, the source said.

The fund will be managed by Lazard India Advisors.

Lazard has 39 offices across 24 countries. Its asset management business manages $91 billion as of 31 December 2008 on behalf of institutional and individual clients. Of the $91 billion, 2 percent was invested in private equity funds.

In August 2008, Lazard formed a non-exclusive strategic partnership with Apollo Global Management to pursue private equity investments in Europe.