India and Southeast Asia-focused private equity firm Everstone Capital is positive on the investment scenario in the country and has decided to invest over $200 million (approximately R1,240 crore) over the next 12-15 months.
The firm raised a $580 million corpus Everstone Capital Partners II fund in 2011 and has already invested over $250 million from it.
Everstone recently formed a joint venture with US-based fast food chain Burger King to bring their food chain in India. The venture will invest $100 million to set up 500 outlets in the country over 7-10 years as a franchisee of Burger King. “The food service sector in India is at a very nascent stage and will continue to grow,” says Dhanpal Jhaveri, partner and CEO of Everstone Capital Advisors.
The fund typically invests in the consumer sector with interests across food, lifestyle, apparels, healthcare and education and will continue to do so over the next few months.
Experts believe that private equity firms need to invest the capital raised by investors by the time the fund approaches its third year. “Many of the PE funds raised money in 2011 and before and need to show investments now,” said Avinash Gupta, senior director and leader (financial advisory) at Deloitte in India. “Also, given the rupee volatility domestic consumption is a safe bet for PE investors and has been in focus alongwith financial services for quite some time,” he added.
“Limited partners are carefully monitoring the process of investment these days,” said Sanjeev Krishnan, leader – private equity and transaction services at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “There are enough opportunities to invest now when the chips are down,” he said.
Everstone made some other significant investments including a $41 million deal with Transpole Logistics, $20 million investment in Bangalore-based R&R Salons. The fund also invested R200 crore in Hinduja Leyland Finance.
Everstone has also raised $340 million last year for IndoSpace Logistics Parks.