Religare sells stake in Indian RE fund manager

The New Delhi-headquartered financial services group has sold its ownership of Cerestra Advisors, an Indian real estate fund manager, to The Capital Partnership.

New Delhi-headquartered financial services group Religare Enterprises has agreed to sell Cerestra Advisors, an Indian real estate fund manager, to the London-based family office The Capital Partnership (TCP).

In a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday, Religare Global Asset Management (RGAM), the group’s asset management subsidiary, said it has signed a binding term sheet to divest its stake in Cerestra Advisors.

For Religare the exit from Cerestra Advisors is part of its wider plans to divest its global asset management business. As per the local Indian reports, the firm is on track to selling the investments under the $20 billion RGAM.

A few weeks after the sale of its stake in Northgate, the group announced an exit from its majority holding in Landmark Partners, the global private equity and real estate secondaries firm. It sold its stake back to Landmark’s management.

Cerestra Advisors’ investment strategy is focused on the education sector. It has been seeking investments in school and college buildings in the country via its maiden real estate fund called the Cerestra Edu-Infra Fund. According to the Indian news website Economic Times, the vehicle was able to coral INR 10 billion (€130 million; $130 million) and has so far deployed only a portion of the capital. The firm reportedly plans to ultimately list the assets on a specialized real estate investment trust (REIT).

With this acquisition TCP has now gained an entry into India’s real estate sector. The firm already has exposure to the venture capital and private equity sectors in the country with its purchase of the California-based Northgate Capital from Religare in April this year. Religare had acquired around 65 percent stake in the fund of funds manager in 2010.

TCP was founded in 1998 as a private investment office and asset manager for high-net-worth investors and has a staff of around 20 people in its offices in London and Dubai.