India-focused Samara Capital plans to launch $550m buyout fund: Report

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India’s home-grown private equity major Samara Capital is looking to launch a $550-million fund by the end of this year, majority of which would be channeled for buyout and control transactions, said an Economic Times report on Thursday quoting sources.

About 30 per cent of the fund will also be used for acquiring significant minority stakes, the report added.

Samara has already begun talking to existing limited partners (LPs) and investors including International Finance Corporation, UK government-owned CDC, university endowments, sovereign wealth funds, fund of funds in the US, Canada, Europe, Middle East and Asia to raise the proposed vehicle.

The company will formally launch the fund once it gets existing LPs’ commitment, and would close it within 18 months of the launch, the report said.

India-focused Samara had previously raised two funds worth $260 million and $400 million respectively. The firm plans to do 2-3 more deals with the remaining 30 per cent of the second fund before December quarter. It focuses on sectors including consumer products, services and retail, information technology and outsourcing, financial services, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, infrastructure (power, telecom, roads, etc) and infrastructure ancillary industries.

Last month, ET had reported that Samara was in discussions to acquire Aditya Birla Retail’s supermarket chain ‘More’ for around Rs 2,500 crore. The due diligence is almost over and the company is likely to take control of operations from Aditya Birla if the deal goes through.

Samara had sold its stake in RBL bank for about Rs 185.91 crore last year in August. The firm had routed the investment in the bank via Samara Capital Partners Fund I Ltd.

The firm’s other deals in the past include acquisition of facilities management firm Sanjay Maintenance Services Pvt Ltd in April last year, investment of about $25 million in Gujarat-based stent-maker Sahajanand Medical Technologies (SMT) for an undisclosed stake in December 2016, and buyout of pharmaceutical operations from Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd in April the same year.

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