Mumbai: UAE-headquartered private equity (PE) investor Evolvence Capital, which has more than $1 billion (Rs3,940 crore) focused on PE in West Asia and India, will bet more money on the Indian market in 2008. At the start of 2007, the firm also launched a Hyderabad-based $150 million PE fund focused on life-sciences and healthcare. The fund, which will close fund-raising in the first quarter of 2008, has already done two deals: $5 million in cancer care company Health Care Global and an undisclosed sum in a specialty generics drug company. Since 2004, Evolvence has invested here from a Delhi-based $350 million (including co-investment commitments) sector-agnostic fund-of-funds (60% of it is deployed). In a free-wheeling interview with Mint, Sabine Schaffer, director (investments), talks about their next India fund. Edited excerpts:
What fund will you be launching next?
We will raise a second fund-of-funds for India in the middle of next year of $300-400 million.
What returns do you expect?
For the fund of funds, we expect 20-35%, and for the PE fund, we expect 30-35%
Who are your investors?
The fund started out as an investment vehicle for high-net worth families in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and other parts of West Asia in 2000. But because the fund did well, it evolved into a private equity investment firm within a year. Now, we have one-third investment from the Gulf, one-third from Europe and one-third from the US and Asia.
Why did you choose to focus on life sciences sector?
We see India as the pioneer in this sector. The same way it has been perceived as a pioneer in information technology.
Are you looking at buyout funds?
There is too many of the big well-known funds competing in that sector. We will stick to growth deals.
Will there be more investment from West Asia into India?
Yes. With the weakened dollar, subprime crisis and everything else, and the increasing oil prices, you will see the money stream from the Gulf coming to emerging markets like India.
You don’t fund the same returns in Europe or the States anymore.