Mumbai: Ajay Relan, co-founder of homegrown private equity fund CX Partners is stepping down as managing partner and will now act as founder-chairman of the fund. The firm promoted co-founder Jayanta Basu as managing partner with responsibility for its day-to-day operations.

In a letter to its investors, Relan said, “I am pleased to announce that effective December the 10th 2015 my partner Jayanta Basu will take over from me the task of running and managing CX Partners. He will be designated Managing Partner."

Relan added, “…Jayanta will take on all executive responsibilities of managing the CX people and its portfolio, and will represent the firm as the principal contact with the outside world."

Relan told DealStreetAsia, “We have a succession plan which we are now executing and the transition is happening in a couple of days on my 62nd birthday."

Relan in his new role will chair partner meetings as well as the pipeline and investment recommendation committee meetings, and lead the initiative for negotiating with the firm’s investment partners from the Middle East among other things.

Relan is one of the pioneers of private equity investing in India, first as the head of Citi Venture Capital International, and then as the founder of CX Capital, which had raised its first fund worth $515 million in 2010, after navigating a tough environment following the 2008 financial crisis. The fund was raised in 18 months.

Basu is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, and St Stephen’s College, Delhi. Prior to joining CX Partners, he had more than eight years of investing experience at Citigroup Inc.’s private equity arm in India, which Relan used to head. He has served on the boards of Convexity, Minacs, Security and Intelligence Services (India) Ltd, TSI, Sutures India and Matrix Cellular.

At present CX Partners is in the process of raising its second fund of $500 million and it is expected to mark its first close soon, said a person directly familiar with the matter.

CX Partners, founded in 2009, manages a fund with a corpus of $500 million and has portfolio companies including Barbeque Nation Hospitality Ltd, Sapphire Foods India Pvt. Ltd, Ujjivan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd, South Indian Bank, Karur Vysya Bank, Thyrocare Technologies Ltd and Minacs. It has invested in nearly four deals this year.

In March, the fund invested in microfinance institution Ujjivan Financial Services (P) Ltd alongside other investors. It also participated in Sapphire Foods India Pvt Ltd’s acquisition by a bunch of private equity funds led by Samara Capital for nearly Rs750 crore.

The fund is also in talks to acquire the bakery business of Hector Beverages for nearly 420 crore, according to three people familiar with the development. The deal is a combination of primary infusion of capital and a secondary sale of shares owned by Motilal Oswal Private Equity Fund, they said.

Apart from investing capital, the fund has started seeking exits. It recently mandated investment banking firm o3 Capital to sell its 20% stake in surgical equipment maker Sutures India Pvt Ltd.

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