Hedge Fund Plans India Private Equity, Beta Products

Dec 21 2007 | 10:15am ET

Not content to rest on its hedge fund laurels, Boston-based Venus Capital Management last month launched its first private equity offering to invest in late stage Indian-based companies. The firm is also readying a beta product and a real estate offering for the region to be launched next year.

For the Venus Private Equity Fund, the firm is targeting between $25 million to $50 million. “It will invest in companies that are going to have liquidity events within two years,” said founder Vik Mehrotra. The Indian private equity landscape “is immense, almost all global private equity funds are there.”

According to research from Evaluserve, p.e. players such as Baring Private Equity Partners, Warburg Pincus and some 366 others are expected to pump some $13.5 billion in p.e. funding into the region during 2007, and the mark could rise to almost $20 billion in 2010. “This situation stands in stark contrast to 1996, when Indian companies received only a total of $20 million,” according to Evaluserve.

Also, Mehrotra mentioned that the firm is prepping a beta product that will look to outperform the Nifty Index for investors with hedge fund exposure in the region. Finally, it is readying a real estate fund.

The firm’s India-focused $400 million Venus Arbitrage Fund, which invests in equity-related arbitrage opportunities, is up 14.6% YTD through November. Its 19-month old $110 million Venus Special Situations fund has fared even better, returning 30.05% during the same period.

Venus Capital was founded in 1994 and currently manages some $700 million in total assets. Over the years, the firm has evolved from solely a money management firm for wealthy families to a more specialized firm focused on making investments in Asia.


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