ICICI Venture to launch $500m infra fund

The Mumbai-based firm is also set to begin fundraising for a $100m real estate fund targeting domestic opportunities.

Private equity and real estate firm ICICI Venture is close to launching its maiden infrastructure fund focused on Indian investment opportunities.

Details pertaining to the fund are currently being finalised and fundraising is expected to begin “over the next few weeks”, a source told PEI Asia. The fund will have a $500 million target with a green shoe option to raise another $500 million, the source said, adding that the fund is currently a work in progress.

The firm is also simultaneously planning to start fundraising for its second real estate fund that will target commitments of $100 million and have a $200 million hard cap, the source said. That fund will focus on domestic investment opportunities that are not available to foreign investors.

ICICI Venture confirmed it is on the verge of launching the two funds, but declined to provide further details about the vehicles at this point.

According to the source, ICICI Venture’s infrastructure fund is likely to target opportunities across the spectrum in green field projects, brown field projects and in growth equity transactions. The fund initiative rides on the firm’s parent ICICI Bank’s experience and capabilities in the infrastructure sector – the bank has funded infrastructure projects to the tune of between $15 billion and $20 billion, the source said. 

ICICI Venture has also started assembling a team to manage its infrastructure fund. The team is currently headed by Partha Dey, who joined the firm in April as the president of its infrastructure practice. Dey was formerly general manager with the project finance business of ICICI Bank. Dey joined the ICICI group in 1998 and initially worked on project finance in the power sector before subsequently overseeing the business in the entire infrastructure space.

Sandeep Malhotra, who joined ICICI Venture in 2007 and was responsible for sourcing investment opportunities across all alternative asset classes, has now been appointed senior director on the infrastructure team. In all, Malhotra has worked with the ICICI Group for 16 years. 

ICICI Venture is currently in the market for India Advantage Fund Series 3 (IAF Series 3), a private equity fund with a $500 million target and a hard cap of $800 million. By December 2009, that fund had raised $350 million for its first close.

In all, the firm has raised upwards of $2.7 billion for funds focused on private equity, real estate and mezzanine.