May 14, 2007

TCG plans $500-m PE fund for realty play

NEW DELHI: The Chatterjee Group (TCG) is looking to set up a $450-500 million private equity fund for investments in real estate. The group, headed by Purnendu Chatterjee, which has investments worth $2.5 billion in several sectors, including technology, BPO and infrastructure, also has a stake in the $1.2-billion Haldia Petrochemicals. This will be the company’s first dedicated PE fund for its India investments. “The fund has already seen a first closing of $100 million and we should touch $450 million to $500 million by June end,” said a company source. The proposed fund, which has a mandate to invest only in real estate projects in India, will make investments in the top nine cities in the country, including Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, besides the four metros. “The proposed fund will make investments in hotels and commercial property. We may also look at finding synergies with the real estate development arm of the parent group,” said India Property Fund CIO Aanandjit Sunderaj. The fund is a joint venture with New York-based realty firm Vornado Realty Trust which manages over $33 billion of assets and TCG Real estate, the real estate division of the investment arm. TCG Real estate is a commercial real estate development company. Sources in the investment banking fraternity say while the fund is evaluating several projects, it has already zeroed in on two project worth $75 million and $50 million in the National Capital Region. Chatterjee Group’s India initiatives include Haldia Petrochemicals, an integrated petrochemicals facility in West Bengal. Mr Chatterjee who holds a 59% stake in Haldia Petrochemicals, is fighting a legal battle against West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation which owns a 36.88% over the induction of IndianOil as an equity partner in the company. TCG also has stakes in CA TCG Software — a joint venture with Computer Associates, Skytech Solutions, an IT joint venture with United Airlines, Lab Vantage, a boutique IT solutions provider focused on pharmaceutical and research industry. Biotechnology investments in India include Chembiotek Research International, ClinInvent Research, a clinical trials company, and SilicoGene Informatics – a cheminformatics and bioinformatics company. Source://Economictimes