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bain: Bain Capital eyeing investment opportunities


Having raised its fifth Asian private equity fund with a corpus of $7.1 billion, Bain Capital is eyeing investment opportunities in the consumer, healthcare and industrials sectors in India, said Pavninder Singh, Partner -Private Equity, Bain Capital, in an interaction with ET.

Bain’s latest private equity fund is the largest such fund to be raised this year in Asia, highlighting the rising interest of global investors in the Asian region and specifically in India.

The latest fundraise comes at a time when the American investor is getting more aggressive in the Indian market. In September, ET reported that Bain Capital had approached Dr Reddy’s Laboratories to explore a joint bid to buy out the promoters of Cipla, the Hamied family.

“Asia, more generally, is under-penetrated on the private equity side. It is a growth market for the industry and within that India, especially over the last 12 to 18 months, has seen a lot more interest in the LP community. I think some of that is secular because the country is continuing to demonstrate good growth. I think we’ve laid the foundation for hopefully a long journey of steady growth trajectory. The PE industry itself in India in recent years has shown return of capital and good returns. And so I think all of that has reinforced investor interest,” said Singh.

The rising interest for India is also being driven by headwinds being faced by other geographies, added Singh.

“There’s also an element of relative interest, where China, which was a big destination for capital, is currently more complicated, given some of the geopolitical concerns. Europe and the US have their own macro challenges and question marks. So within that environment, Asia and India in particular, continue to get a fair bit of investor interest,” he said.”Investors realise that a lot of corporations globally need to diversify supply chains. One of the big potential beneficiaries of that trend will be India. We’re already seeing some of those ben-efits in various se-ctors,” said Singh.While historically, Bain has deployed a quarter of its Asian funds in India, it is likely that the fifth Asia PE fund may invest more in India given the relative attractiveness of the market.

“About a quarter of our Asian funds have been invested in India. Could that be higher in the coming fund vintage? Given where India is and given where some of the other markets are, I think that’s certainly possible,” said Singh.

Bain Capital believes that private equity activity will pick up pace in 2024, having seen a tepid 2023. Factors like the upcoming general elections next year are unlikely to impact PE investments in India, the firm feels.

“Overall, 2024 should be a year with greater deal activity than this year. 2023 in relative terms to 2021 and 2022 is already down a fair bit, almost half from the peak. This year has been a period of adjustment where seller expectation and buyer expectations are slowly aligning to where the new macro is. So my hope is 2024 will be a more active year, even despite the elections,” said Singh.

On the sectoral front, Bain Capital is seeing interesting opportunities in sectors such as healthcare, consumer and industrials.


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