China’s Fosun to launch private equity business in India

Mumbai: Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd is set to launch a private equity (PE) business in India, two people aware of the development said, days after a group company made a bid for Hyderabad-based Grand Pharma Ltd.

Fosun has hired Rahul Raisurana, a former managing director at Standard Chartered Private Equity’s India unit, to head the operation, the two people said on condition of anonymity.

Raisurana, who quit Standard Chartered in 2013, also served as director and head of credit risk management at Deutsche Bank AG’s India unit. In his stint at Standard Chartered, he served as partner in the bank’s Asia Private Equity fund and senior member of the Principal Finance (Private Equity and Mezzanine/Alternatives) Global Management team, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Rahul’s experience at investing and managing the Indian portfolio as the part of a global fund will make him a good choice for a fund like Fosun which is set for a debut in Indian PE industry,” said the first person on condition of anonymity.

A mail sent to a Fosun spokesperson on Thursday went unanswered. Raisurana did not respond to repeated calls and text messages on Thursday.

Founded in 1992 in Shanghai, Fosun International is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The group has annual revenue of $12 billion and profit of $1.2 billion, according toBloomberg data. Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun, nicknamed China’s Warren Buffett, is China’s 17th richest person with a net worth of $5.6 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

Fosun International has interests in wealth management, pharmaceuticals, mining, steel and realty. Under the finance vertical, Fosun owns businesses in insurance, investment, wealth management and Internet finance. Fosun has spent about $30 billion in the past two decades outside China, mainly acquiring insurance and real estate assets in Europe and the US, as well as making investments in the likes of tourism group Club Med and Canada’s Cirque du Soleil, according to a 16 May Reuters report.

The plan to start a PE unit in India comes days after Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed unit of the group, said it had submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire a 96% stake in Gland Pharma. Private equity firm KKR and Co. owns a significant minority stake in Gland Pharma.

That bid marked a rare instance of a Chinese drug maker seeking to buy an Indian company. Foreign investments from China have long been viewed with suspicion in India.

As India’s economic growth accelerates, several global funds have strengthened their operations in the country in recent months.

In March, Canadian institutional fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) which announced a $150 million investment in the renewable energy sector, appointed former World Bank executive Anita Marangoly George as managing director, South Asia.

Besides CDPQ, another large Canadian pension fund, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, is also looking to invest in India.

“The confidence among the global investors (in India) is beginning to come back. Hence, several global funds have either started setting up Indian operations or increased their commitments to India..,” said Sunit Mehra, managing partner at executive search firm Hunt Partners.

India was one of the top destinations for PE and venture capital investors in 2015, although deal activity has slowed this year.

The country received a record $22.4 billion in investments last year, 32% more than the previous highest of $17 billion in 2007, according to a March report by Bain and Co. India.

The 2015 deal value marked a 47% increase over the $15.2 billion India received in 2014.