Our Private Equity business has
Assets under Management/Advice
of $1.85 Billion across 5 funds since inception
Private Equity Strategy
Private Equity is the flagship strategy of ICICI Venture. ICICI Venture typically invests in mid-market companies in India which offer a strong value proposition in the form of a dominant or leading franchise, with substantial growth prospects and sustainable domestic or international competitive advantages.
ICICI Venture provides growth equity for companies with a view to working with these companies to strengthen their businesses and help position them for future growth in their respective spaces. Selectively we also do control and joint control transactions together with like minded partners. Irrespective of the stake, we invest with a “majority mindset”.
ICICI Venture backed companies have emerged as leaders in various sectors such as Banking and Financial Services, Insurance, Water, Media and Entertainment, Food, Quick Service Restaurants (QSR), Diagnostics, Healthcare, Biopharmaceuticals, Specialty Chemicals, Branded Apparel, etc.
ICICI Venture PE has invested in over 60 companies across 5 PE Funds: India Advantage Fund Series 1, India Advantage Fund Series 2, India Advantage Fund Series 3,India Advantage Fund Series 4 and India Advantage Fund Series 5.
Formulating and implementing strategic, operational and financial initiatives: value is sought to be created in portfolio companies by taking strategic, operational and financial initiatives aimed at strengthening its companies’ competitive position vis-à-vis their peers and industry benchmarks.
Hiring / strengthening management: where relevant, ICICI Venture will look to assist companies in identifying and filling any gaps in the management team of a portfolio company, and also in developing its talent retention strategy.
Assisting with acquisition targets: ICICI Venture might seek to assist portfolio companies in identifying acquisition targets in line with their expansion strategy and in implementation of its acquisition plans.
As a part of the ICICI Group, ICICI Venture has access to the capabilities and knowledge of ICICI Bank and other companies of the ICICI Group.
Private Equity Team
Gagandeep S Chhina
In 2005, IAF Series 1 bought out the entire refractories business division of Associated Cement Companies Ltd. (ACC). Ace Refractories was one of India’s most profitable refractory companies in India and a dominant player in the Indian monolithics market. The company also offered turnkey refractory solutions with export focus and customers across the globe. The company had a very strong and experienced management and R&D team. Post investment, ICICI Venture helped put in place an incentive plan, focusing on a number of strategic initiatives including exports, binder production, and [industry-wide] marketing, pricing strategy, etc. The fund exited the investment through a sale to Imerys Pigments Pte Limited in September 2007.
In 2006, IAF Series 1 invested in Action Construction Equipment. Action Construction was one of India’s leading construction equipment manufacturers with over 50% of the market share in the mobile crane market. The deal was a play on high growth in infrastructure development and capex in the manufacturing sector resulting in sustained demand for construction and material handling equipment. Post investment, the company had a successful IPO in September 2006 and the fund exited the investment thereafter.
In 2016, IAF Series 4 invested in Anthea Aromatics Private Limited. Anthea Group (“Anthea”) is a leading, unlisted Indian company in the specialty chemicals industry. Anthea was founded in 1985 by Dr. Vincent Paul who holds a PhD from Indian Institute of Sciences, Bangalore and is a post-doctorate from Columbia and Johns Hopkins University, USA. Anthea has scale in its existing business operations and substantial growth prospects with demonstrated scale-up experience led by a high-quality management team. Anthea is among the top 5 terpene based aroma chemicals manufacturing companies in the world.
In 2006, IAF Series 1 invested in Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad-based integrated biotech company. Bharat Biotech is a biotechnology company focused on vaccines, biopharmaceuticals and contract research and manufacturing. It is a low cost manufacturer of several vaccine products. The company has a strong product portfolio which includes a broad range of vaccines including Hepatitis B, Polio, Rabies, Typhoid, Hib and Tetanus. Bharat Biotech has a robust pipeline across attractive segments in vaccines, including products such as Staph and Rotavirus, which have a market potential of over a billion dollars. IAF Series 1 has exited its investment from this company.
Cello World Limited (“Cello”) is a group company of Cello group established in 1982 by Mr. G D Rathod and now managed by his sons – Mr. Pradeep Rathod and Mr. Pankaj Rathod and his grandson Mr. Gaurav Rathod. Cello manufactures and sells products across houseware categories like hydration, glassware, opalware, appliances, thermoware, Casserole, lunch box, writing instruments and other plastic containers. Cello is one of the leading players in the industry having more than 800 SKUs sold by 300,000+ retail outlets across the country through ~2000 distributors.
DCB Bank is a modern emerging new generation private sector bank. It is a scheduled commercial bank regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. DCB is promoted by Aga Khan Foundation Fund for Economic Development, an international development enterprise dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and building economically sound companies. DCB Bank is run by an independent and professional management. DCB offers a wide range of banking products and services to retail, corporate, SME, MSME and agriculture & inclusive banking segments, with self-employed customer being the key target segment. It is listed on NSE and BSE. For more details, please visit www.dcbbank.com.
In 2005, and through a follow-on investment in 2006, IAF Series 1 invested in Deccan Aviation and acquired a significant minority stake in the Company. Deccan Aviation was India’s first low cost airline, promoted by Capt. G.R. Gopinath. During the consolidation phase in the Indian aviation sector, Deccan Aviation and Kingfisher Airlines merged to form the largest domestic airline by market share. The Fund exited its investment after this merger was completed.
In May 2011, IAF Series 3 invested in Devyani International Limited (DIL). DIL is in the business of running Quick Service Restaurants such as KFC, Costa and Vaango and Casual Dining Restaurants such as Pizza Hut Red Roof as well as Home Service like Pizza Hut Delivery. It also runs other food service businesses, like Food Courts at Malls and Airports and Institutional Catering. It runs some formats as a franchisee such as Yum (Previously part of Pepsico); Costa (Part of UK-based Whitbread Plc), Swensens (Part of Ontario based International Franchise Corp) and as an owner of the brand and format such as Vaango. DIL is owned by Ravi Jaipuria Group / RJ Corp, which is also the largest Pepsi bottler in India. IAF Series 3 has exited its investment from this company.
Epack Durable Private Limited (“Epack”) was founded in 2002 by Bothra and Singhania families and is second largest Indian ODM player in Room AC (RAC) space. Epack is headquartered in Greater Noida with manufacturing plant in Dehradun and new facilities planned at Bhiwadi and Sri City. The Company caters to 6 of the top 10 RAC brands in India and is continuously expanding its customer base and product offerings. The Company offers an integrated solution to its customers, RAC brands, across a range of Window and Split Air Conditioners including Fixed speed and Inverter grades. It currently has a production capacity of ~1 million RAC units per annum and ~1 million small home appliances per annum (like Induction cooktops, juicer mixer grinder, bottled water dispenser, etc).
In 2006, IAF Series 1 invested in Gateway Distriparks. Gateway Distriparks is the largest private sector player in India in port-related logistics support services for the handling and clearance of sea-borne EXIM trade in containerized form. It has a pan-India presence at major sea and inland ports – Mumbai, Chennai, Vizag and Garhi. It further diversified and de-risked its business model by entering into the cold chain logistics space with the acquisition of 50.1% stake in Snowman Frozen Foods Limited and also by starting its rail operations business. The Fund has exited the investment.
In 2006, IAF Series 2 invested in Geometric, a Godrej group company. Geometric provides cost-effective product lifecycle management services to the global mechanical design, manufacturing and industrial markets. It is a niche player with a strong domain expertise having worked with all major Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) products. It started providing engineering services in 2003 and at the time of the investment, was planning to acquire a US based engineering services company. The same was acquired from Modern Engineering in 2007. Currently, Geometric is focusing on three business segments – providing software development support to PLM software companies and providing system integration services around these products, developing own Intellecutal Property which is complementary to its clients in PLM space and providing engineering services to large manufacturing firms. IAF Series 2 has fully exited from this investment.
In 2018, IAF Series 4 invested in Go Fashion India Private Limited (“Go Colors”). Go Colors is the leading women legwear brand in India and has a significant countrywide presence with a network of more than 200 Exclusive Branded Outlets and presence in over 500 large format stores. The promoters of the company have two decades of experience in the apparel industry as one of the leading exporters. The company with focus on women bottomwear sells products in more than 80 colors with multiple sizes making it one of the differentiated players in the market with such a wide product offering.
In 2006, IAF Series 2 invested in Home Solutions. In 2009, the fund made a follow on investment in the Company. Home Solutions is a subsidiary of Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited focusing on three verticals namely Consumer Electronics, Furniture & furnishings and Home Improvement. The Company operates through its different format stores namely HomeTown, E-Zone, Collection-I, Home Bazaar, Furniture Bazaar and Electronic Bazaar both as standalone stores and as cut-ins in other Future Group outlets. The Company was the largest retailer of consumer durables and electronics. In February 2010, the Board of Home Solutions and Pantaloon Retail announced the merger of Home Solutions into Pantaloon Retail. IAF Series 2 has exited its investment in this company.
In 2005, IAF Series 1 entered into an agreement with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) for the development and commercialisation of 36 generic drug products for the US market. It was the first deal of its kind to provide a structured mechanism to Research and Development funding. DRL is one of India’s largest pharmaceutical players with global sales of US$1 billion and a significant presence in the US market. The company currently has an aggressive research and development spend, returns of which would accrue over 3-5 years. The product basket includes a judicious mix of difficult-to-make formulations and plain vanilla generic drugs. The fund has exited its investment from this company.
In 2005, IAF Series 1 entered into a 50:50 joint venture (I-Ven Realty) with the Oberoi Group, a leading real estate group for developing high- end residential towers on ~4 acres of land at Worli, a prime location in Mumbai. The fund has now fully exited from this investment.
India1 Payments Ltd. is a leading White Label ATM (WLA) company. About 90% of India1’s ATM installations are in semi urban and rural areas in India, in line with the government’s financial inclusion initiative. India1 intends to use this equity capital to expand its ATM network and emerge as one of the largest ATM operators in the country. India1’s strategy and aspirations are in line with global industry: (i) Currency remains the preferred option for small-ticket transactions; (ii) Cash and digital co-existing; (iii) ATM transactions showing strong growth driven by increasing financial penetration, sustained economic growth and rising welfare payments, (iv) Independent ATM operators playing a key role in industry growth across global markets.
Indifi Technologies Pvt. Ltd. (“Indifi”) owns and operates a tech-enabled platform providing unsecured loans to digitally oriented SMEs across sectors such as retailing, distribution, restaurants & food services. Indifi is #2 player in online MSME lending space. It has differentiated loan origination model through partnerships with Eco-system players like Amazon, Swiggy, Gpay,etc. Indifi also owns 100% subsidiary – Indifi Capital Pvt. Ltd., which is a non–deposit taking NBFC. The company was founded by Mr. Alok Mittal & Mr. Siddharth Mahanot.
In 2003, and through subsequent investments, IAF Series 1 acquired majority control over Tata Infomedia from the Tata Group. The deal was the first leveraged buy-out in India by a private equity player. Infomedia was India’s leading yellow pages and specialist magazine publisher. At the time of investment, it was a cash rich, zero-debt company with stable cash flows. Post acquisition, ICICI Venture appointed a new management team, closed down non-core businesses, monetized idle assets and streamlined the operations of the company. The fund has fully exited from this company which is currently managed by the Network 18 group of companies.
In June 2011, IAF Series 3 invested in ING Vysya Bank, a Bangalore-based Private Sector bank with a Loan Book of INR 358.29 billion as of March 2014. ING Vysya Bank merged with Kotak Mahindra Bank at a swap ratio of 0.725: 1 with an effective date of April 01, 2015. The merger created widespread network of 1,214 branches across the country. IAF Series 3 has fully exited from this investment.
In 2007, IAF Series 2 invested in Kalpataru Power Transmission. This is one of India’s fastest growing EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) companies, primarily involved in construction of power transmission lines. The company executes both domestic and international transmission and distribution projects and has also forayed into Oil & Gas pipeline infrastructure, a segment which is expected to grow rapidly in the near future. The Company aspires to be a diversified construction and project management company. Towards that objective, the company has increased its stake in JMC (construction company subsidiary). Kalpataru plans to increase focus on the international EPC contracts in Power T&D and to enter into sectors such as agri-logistics, railways, water management, power (hydro and thermal) on EPC basis. IAF Series 2 has exited its investment in this company.
Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences Ltd (KIMS) was set up in 2004 by Dr. B. Bhaskar Rao who is, a well known cardiothoracic surgeon. The Company is engaged in the business of operating multi specialty tertiary care hospitals. KIMS is one of the largest corporate healthcare groups in AP & Telangana. It operates 9 multi-specialty hospitals with ~3,000 beds as of December 31, 2020.
In 2008, IAF Series 2 invested in Mahindra Retail which is the retail venture of the Mahindra Group. It plans to set up mother and child retail stores that cater to all mother and child needs starting from -9 months to +9 months covering expecting mothers, new-borns, infants, toddlers and kids. The Company has launched the first set of stores in some of the major cities in India. IAF Series 2 has fully exited its investment from the company.
In 2005, IAF Series 1 invested in Malladi Drugs and Pharmaceuticals. The company is a strong player in the Psuedoephedrine (PSE) market with a 14% global market share. The company acquired Novus Fine Chemicals, a US based PSE manufacturer in 2006. It has also been working with leading foreign companies for custom manufacturing and research, such as a partnership with ZACH Systems in Italy for contact manufacturing. The fund has exited its investment from this company.
In 2008, IAF Series 2 partnered with the Mahindra & Mahindra group in the buyout of Metalcastello S.p.A. Metalcastello is an independent manufacturer of transmission and engine gears with a capability to manufacture large, highly complex gears with high precision. The Company has 2 manufacturing units near Bologna, Italy and a smaller manufacturing unit at its wholly owned subsidiary in Faridabad, India. Metalcastello envisages growing the business by further leveraging synergies arising from using India as an additional low cost sourcing and manufacturing destination. M&M also has a gear manufacturing unit in Rajkot thus providing a suitable platform to leverage and create value through synergies. IAF Series 2 has exited its investment in this company.
In 2006, IAF Series 1 invested in Metropolis Health Services. Metropolis provides clinical diagnostic testing and related services and has a presence in over 70 cities across India via 19 laboratories and over 200 collection centers. The company plans to build India’s largest pathlab network via organic or inorganic means. The company has acquired labs in Surat, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Patna and Delhi and has setup new Joint Ventures in South Africa, Sri Lanka and Dubai. The company has also set up a new central laboratory in Chennai in addition to the laboratory previously established in Bangalore. The fund has exited its investment from this company.
IAF Series I has purchased a property at Cyber Gateway, Hitech City, Hyderabad with super built up area of 106,038 sq.ft. The property had Dell Computers as a tenant. The fund has fully exited from this investment.
In 2004, IAF Series 1 invested in Nagarjuna. The company is one of India’s leading infrastructure construction companies with a well diversified business portfolio. It has a strong presence in the lucrative BOT segment with a strengthened balance sheet and is well positioned to capitalise on the government’s thrust on infrastructure investments. ICICI Venture identified the sector early and approached the company for a potential investment, and post investment worked with the company in increasing its profile. Over the holding period, the company improved its operating margin by changing its project mix. The fund has exited the investment.
In 2006, Dr. Reddy’s Labs (DRL), IAF Series 2 and Citigroup Venture Capital jointly established Perlecan Pharma Private Limited to fund the development of four molecules through phase 2a clinical trials. Perlecan was engaged in the clinical development and subsequent out-licensing of New Chemical Entities (NCE). DRL transferred four of its most promising NCE to Perlecan. The Fund has fully exited its investment from the company.
PVR is a leading multiplex chain in India catering to over 14.7 million patrons across the country. With time, it has become a leading entertainment player in Indian market with a presence across various verticals of lifestyle retail entertainment landscape. While filmed entertainment forms the core business activity of PVR, the company is also involved in the business of operating food-courts, bowling alleys, ice skating rinks and karaoke bars. It has ventured into the film production and distribution business through a subsidiary
In 2008, IAF Series 2 invested in PVR Pictures Ltd. PVR Pictures is a leading movie distributor based out of India. With a nationwide presence across all key distribution territories, PVR Pictures has been actively involved in the distribution of Indian and foreign films across the country. The company has recently ventured into movie production. The company’s first co-production became the 3rd highest grosser amongst the movies released in India during FY 2007-08 and also won numerous awards. The investment in the company is directed towards furthering the movie production and distribution plans of the company. The Fund has fully exited from this investment.
In 2006, IAF Series 1 invested in Reliance Petroleum Ltd. (RPL). RPL was setting up a 27 million metric tonnes per annum greenfield petroleum refinery and polypropylene plant in a Special Economic Zone in Gujarat. There was tight capacity utilization forecasted world wide in the oil refining sector as underinvestment since 1990 had led to huge demand which RPL was addressing with the planned refinery. The company was well-positioned to leverage on the widening demand-supply gap with its proven capability in executing large-scale projects and successfully operating its existing refinery. It had set up the world’s 3rd largest (33 mmtpa) refinery in 36 months at a competitive cost. The company had strong management backing, as the Reliance Group are proven sponsors. Subsequent to the company’s IPO in FY 2007, the fund successfully exited its investment.
In 2005, IAF Series 1 bought out Ranbaxy’s allied businesses which comprise of fine chemicals, animal healthcare and diagnostics. RFCL is a top three player in each of its three divisions and has witnessed strong growth in all the businesses it operates in. ICICI Venture played an important role in providing strategic direction and improving the business model of the company through acquisitions, efficient capital allocation to new projects and a move to own manufacturing. In 2009, ICICI Venture engineered the sale of the animal healthcare division of RFCL to Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company. In 2010, the diagnostics and fine chemicals business divisions were sold to Avantor of the US. The fund has fully exited from this investment.
In September 2014, IAF Series 3 invested in RJ Corp, a group holding company of the Ravi Jaipuria group. It has businesses ranging from beverages and fast food restaurants, ice creams, dairy products, education, breweries and real estate sectors. The combined revenues of the group is estimated to be INR 35 billion for FY 2014. IAF Series 3 has exited this investment.
In 2007, IAF Series 2 invested in Rubamin. Promoted by two first generation entrepreneurs, Rubamin manufactures high quality non ferrous metals and their salts (zinc, copper & cobalt). The Company is one of the two prominent cobalt manufacturers and the largest manufacturer of zinc oxide in India, and is one of the few Indian players in this sector, with an Africa presence. The Company had made a foray into mining, and acquired 36 mining concessions in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has a rich mineral belt Since investment, the Company has diversified into active and AFox grade zinc oxide through setting up of a greenfield facility in Nandseri. Rubamin has entered into a joint venture with CVRD, a Brazilian mining conglomerate, for exploration in 6 of its concessions. IAF Series 2 has now fully exited its investments from the company.
In 2007, IAF Series 2 in Sainik Mining, a leading contract mining company in India. Thermal coal is the preferred fuel for power generation in India, and expected to remain so over the coming years. The demand for thermal coal is expected to increase by ~70% over the 11th 5-year plan (2007-2012). Coal India is expected to increase outsourcing of operations to be able to increase supply to match this increased demand. Sainik Mining is one of the largest private sector contract mining companies for coal in India. Additionally, Sainik has entered into JVs with state mining corporations (SMDCs) for 2 coal blocks in Kalinga and Amelia which have proven reserves of 100 mt and 300 mt respectively. The promoters and management team have over 2 decades of experience in coal mining and allied activities. The Company is a pioneer in usage of surface mining equipment and manufacture of indigenous coal washery equipment. Sainik has also set up a subsidiary in Indonesia for opportunities in exploration services, contract mining and coal block acquisition. IAF Series 2 has exited this investment.
In 2004, IAF Series 1 invested in Samtel Color Limited, the flagship company of Samtel Group. This was the leading manufacturer of color picture tubes (CPT) in India and supplied picture tubes to almost all the major TV manufacturers. The fund has exited this investment.
In 2005, IAF Series 1 invested in Sangam (India). The company was India’s leading dyed polyster viscose yarn and fabric player. Besides catering to the domestic market, Sangam is also selling yarn and fabric in the international markets. The company has completed its planned expansions in 2009 and is currently in a consolidation phase. The fund has exited from this investment.
In 2008, IAF Series 2 invested in Shriram City Union Finance (SCUF). SCUF is a fast growing retail financier providing personal loans, consumer durable loans, 2 wheeler loans with a focus on semi-urban and rural areas. Retail financing in India is a US$ 120 billion industry growing at 20% pa. SCUF’s product portfolio includes personal loans, consumer durable loans, 2 wheeler loans, and the new growth segments of small ticket business loans and jewel loans. SCUF’s distribution network is self-owned (as against outsourced distribution for most other players) which enables continuous grass-root level engagement with customers. This combined with strong collection and recovery competencies, a highly efficient process workflow and stringent risk management policies are the strengths of the business model. SCUF’s Assets under Management (AUM) (including securitized assets) have grown at a CAGR of 62% over the last 3 years. Going forward, the Company plans to increase focus on new segments like small ticket business loans and jewel loans. IAF Series 2 has exited its investment in this company.
Star Health & Allied Insurance is a mono-line health insurance company founded in 2006. Star is also the largest mono-line health insurance company in the Indian private sector with a market share of ~8% (FY2016). Star is headquartered in Chennai (Tamil Nadu). The retail segment now contributes more than 90% of GWP (Gross Written premium) of the company.
Swiss Biosciences is a JV between the Fund and its strategic partner (top 10 Indian pharma company) to build a global Clinical Research Organization (CRO) with an India backend through the roll-up model. In 2007, the company made its first acquisition in Radiant Research, a SMO/CRO based in USA. Post investment, Radiant has successfully received major contracts from global pharma majors like Pfizer, Merck, Arena etc. For its India operations, the company has entered into a strategic partnership with Spectrum Clinical Research, an India based CRO. IAF Series 2 has exited its investments from the company.
In April 2011, IAF Series 3 invested in TeamLease. Team Lease, along with its subsidiaries, is an integrated staffing and education services company focused on providing education, employment and employability to a diversified client base comprising individuals, corporate and the Government. The Company began operations in 2002, as a temporary staffing company and over time has moved into vocational training, Government/PPP projects, corporate training. The Company received an in principle approval for a private vocational education university in Gujarat. IAF Series 3 has fully exited its investment from this company.
Theobroma, which operates a chain of Bakery Patisseries, was incorporated in the year 2004, by Kainaz Messman and her parents, Farokh and Kamal Messman. Kainaz is the creative talent behind Theobroma. She is highly qualified and is well regarded within the industry as an exceptional chef. The Company has a central kitchen based model of production. While majority of the products sold are manufactured and packaged in the central kitchen itself, the cafe and the express formats offer certain menu items which are manufactured at the central kitchen, but assembled at the store.
In 2005, IAF Series 1 acquired a controlling stake in VA Tech Wabag Limited (VA Tech), a former subsidiary of the global water engineering Wabag Group. VA Tech is India’s No. 1 turnkey engineering services company for water and waste water treatment technologies. The deal was a buy-out along with the management team. In 2007, the company completed the acquisition of its former parent, WABAG Austria. The acquisition provided it with a footprint across North Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe. IAF Series 1 has fully exited from this company.
In 2004, IAF Series 1 invested in Welspun. Welspun was India’s leading manufacturers of terry towels, and among the top five in the world. It had an excellent clientele including Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, Linen n Things and Tommy Hilfiger, etc. The Fund has exited its investment in this company.
Solvy Tech Solutions Private Limited (“Zopper”) was incorporated in 2010 in Noida, managed by its founders Mr. Surjendu Kuila and Mr. Mayank Gupta. Zopper is an insure-tech platform that provides tech based embedded assurance and insurance solutions to several partners across lifestyle, digital and financial ecosystem. Embedded assurance products include extended warrantee, screen protection, etc. for electronic devices. Embedded insurance products include life insurance, health insurance and motor insurance which are sold along with other products like loans, vehicles, etc.