March 2007
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Thomas Weisel plans $200m PE fund for India

US-based Investment bank Thomas Weisel International is planning a $200 million private equity fund of funds for India. The company is also keen on rolling out its asset management business in India, focusing only on institutional investors. The fund of funds, which is yet to close, has already made two investments worth $25 million in IDFC and ilabs.

“We have already raised $100 million and hope to touch $200 million. Though infrastructure is not our core area of competence, we have put in money in IDFC,” said Praveen Chakravarty, director, Thomas Weisel International India. The fund has invested $15 million in IDFCs and $400 million fund and another $10 million in ilabs.

The company’s India office, which was set up in October 2005, is its first international office outside USA. Thomas Weisel focuses on mid-cap companies in growth sectors including technology, healthcare and alternative sources of energy.

In India, these are the sectors where it will continue to focus on, besides infrastructure. The company is also keen on starting its asset management business in India. This would be a 100% subsidiary of the company.

“Asset management will be the area that we will focus on, both public equities through mutual funds and private through the PE fund. We are also exploring investing in the Indian stock markets through the FII route,”added Mr Chakravarty.

Currently, the company offers institutional brokerage to its clients. While its PE business is operational, the company’s mutual fund business is expected to be rolled out by year end.

Internationally, the firm offers investment banking, institutional brokerage and equity research. Its subsidiary,Thomas Weisel Asset Management, includes three private equity investments funds and a distribution management service for private equity and venture capital funds.
Source : ET

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