By Indulal PM
MUMBAI, Dec 7 (Reuters) - IndiaVenture Advisors, a private
equity fund owned by Indian drugmaker Piramal Enterprises
, is planning to raise up to 10 billion rupees ($185
million) for a new fund that will invest in healthcare and
education, its chairman said.
Investors have stepped up ploughing money into the
healthcare sector in India, home to more than 1.2 billion
people, betting on steadier returns than in other businesses
that have been hit by an economic slowdown.
"It's a defensive sector and is recession-proof,"
IndiaVenture Chairman A.K. Purwar told Reuters. "On top of that,
we have our parent group's strength to leverage and do better
IndiaVenture currently manages about 3.7 billion rupees.
Private equity investments in Indian healthcare have nearly
quadrupled to $520.36 million so far this year from $137.41
million in the same period a year ago, according to Thomson
In comparison, private equity investments across all sectors
in India have fallen 17.5 percent to $3.26 billion from $3.95
billion during the same period last year, the data showed.
"We are about to start formal marketing of the fund," said
Purwar, a former chairman of top lender State Bank of India
The bulk of the fund would be raised from India, while
global investors would be tapped for about 20 percent, he said.
Piramal Enterprises, controlled by billionaire Ajay Piramal,
is one of India's leading healthcare firms. It sold its India
formulations business to U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories
for $3.7 billion in 2010.
($1 = 54.0950 Indian rupees)
(Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)