Axis PE raises $150 Mn infra fund
Mumbai: Axis Bank's PE arm Axis Private Equity has raised a Rs 600 crore (150 million) infrastructure fund. IDFC Private Equity, another major, had on Tuesday announced its intention to raise a $700 million fund for the sector. According to sources close to the matter, Axis Private Equity is already in the process of finalizing four deals related to the infrastructure sector, reported The Economic Times. "By raising Rs 600 crore, Axis PE has closed its first fund - Axis Infrastructure Fund 1. The targeted corpus is Rs 2,000 crore," said a person in the knowledge of the development. The PE has already identified four investment targets, he added. Within a period of five to six months from its launch, Axis PE raised Rs 600 crore despite the tight liquidity conditions. Apart from pension funds, investors in the fund also include sophisticated domestic and international banks and corporates. The Axis Infrastructure Fund has an anchor investment of Rs 200 crore from Axis Bank - the erstwhile UTI Bank - while the rest is being raised from outside. Axis Infrastructure Fund will participate in infrastructure-enabling companies through equity investments in the range of $15 million to $30 million. Axis PE has already committed more than half the amount raised in infrastructure and infrastructure-enabling companies, industry sources said. The firm had, last year, registered a domestic fund with SEBI. It has also registered a fund in Mauritius to take advantage of tax benefits. Financial services majors like JPMorgan, Citigroup, ICICI Ventures and ICICI Bank have also recently announced plans to start infrastructure funds. Recently, IL&FS raised $500 million to invest in the infrastructure sector. The government estimates that Indian infrastructure will need about $500 billion to build facilities like new roads, ports, airports and power plants by 2012.