India Rizing Fund to back $300 Mn fund for defense sector
New Delhi: A team of high-powered team of defence and finance honchos has set up a first of its kind venture fund that will focus on the defense sector. The Mumbai based India Rizing Fund is on the look out for SMEs engaged in defence equipment related production, which it plans to back with upto $300 million, reported Business Standard. The fund, led by ex-country head of ANZ Investment Bank, Rajesh Narayan also has Rana Kapoor, Chief, Yes Bank; Vepa Kamesam, former RBI deputy governor; Lt Gen V J Sundaram, one of the top team members for Prithvi missile and Rahul Chowdhary, CEO, Tata Strategic Electronics, on board as advisors. Initially the talks are for a fund of $100 million that can be increased by another $200 million. The fund would have a 10-year time period, which can be increased by another 4 years. With defense sector opening up to private sector has already seen some private equity activity in the recent past. Last year Blackstone had invested in MTAR, a firm that has exposure into defense and space science technology. Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Group too have set their eyes on having their share in the defense sector. The fund will target areas such as tanks, aircraft and war-gaming simulators, radars, military aircraft, missile launch systems and howitzer guns. The proposal has already got an all-clear signal from various government departments including the home ministry. However, one of the important clearances from the defense ministry is yet to come through and as a consequence the proposal has been held back for a final go ahead by FIPB, the nodal body for foreign investment in India.