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Forum Synergies to launch SME fund

Bangalore-based private equity (PE) firm Forum Synergies is launching one of the biggest India-focused SME funds. The fund, which will raise money from both overseas and domestic investors, is expected to have a total corpus of $150-200 million (Rs 650-850 crore).

The PE firm is co-founded by former president & CEO of GE Consumer & Industrial for India Samir Inamdar.

Though the exact corpus of the fund could not be ascertained, the PE firm is looking to bring in up to $135 million (Rs 580 crore) from an offshore entity–the India Knowledge Manufacturing Company, a Mauritius-based closed ended fund.

This offshore entity will raise funds from high net worth individuals, NRIs besides corporate and financial institutions based in the US, UK, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

The offshore fund will invest through the window provided for foreign direct investment. Besides, there will be other set of shareholders including Indian investors and the investment manager.

The fund will target investments in small and mid-sized firm in the growth or expansion phase as well as in those companies which are looking to go public through pre-IPO deals.

It will have an investment horizon of 4-6 years for each of its transactions and the fund will have a life span of ten years which can be extended by two years.

Forum Synergies was co-founded by Samir Inamdar and Sudhir Kant who are part of its three-member top team. Inamdar, who has a history in auto and engineering sector having worked in Telco (now Tata Motors), Maruti and Tyco Electronics, also oversaw a major revamp of the consumer and industrial division of GE in India.

The PE firm’s other cofounder Sudhir Kant has a history in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemical engineering sectors. The two cofounders are joined by the firm’s COO, Prashant Goyal, former investment manager with Indus Venture Management, a $50 million VC fund.

The SME space has been attracting funds from various quarters in the country.

Recently, SBI announced that it is in the process of floating an Rs 500 crore SME fund, SIDBI Venture Capital is also raising an Rs 500 crore plus third fund. Some of the other SME-focused fund houses include Avigo Capital, Aeurous and Blue River Capital.

Source: India Times

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