Actis invests $28m in Indian developer – report

The CDC-sponsored private equity group has reportedly invested in a Bangalore-based developer of residential and commercial projects.

Vaishnavi Group, a Bangalore-based property development company, has received $28 million (€18 million) from Actis Advisors, a UK-based private equity group sponsored by CDC, according to Indian media reports.

The Vaishnavi Group’s flagship company is Vaishnavi Infrastructure. That company, which is made up of an in-house construction and development business, is currently developing a three million square foot multiuse property with apartments, luxury villas, and retail sites. The company has chiefly been involved in Bangalore but is planning to spread its presence to Mysore as well. The group was founded in 1998.

Actis said it could not comment on the reports.

This would be the first investment in an Indian development company for Actis, which began putting together a global real estate investment team in 2006. The emerging markets private equity fund has been investing in Indian buyouts for ten years, but only recently has it signaled an interest in Indian real estate.The firm now has a dedicated Indian real estate fund with a corpus of up to $300 million (€216 million). The firm’s real estate team in India is headed by Chanakya Chakravarti, formerly a managing director of Cushman & Wakefield. Actis has previously made buyout investments in India of over $700 million.

The firm has been active in real estate in other areas of the world. In 2006 Actis raised its first dedicated real estate fund for sub-Saharan Africa. With leverage, Actis has over $350 million of investment capital to deploy. In the last five years the company has completed developments totaling over 1 million square feet of retail space in Lagos, Accra, Kampala, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.  The firm has offices in Johannesburg, Mumbai and London. It is backed by the UK government-owned fund of funds CDC Group.