Renuka Ramnath’s Multiples PE undershoots target for third fund

 Renuka Ramnath’s Multiples PE undershoots target for third fund

Indian mid-market private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt. Ltd has hit the final close of its third fund that it had floated in early 2018, but missed the fundraising target.

Renuka Ramnath-led Multiples had started the fundraising exercise with an aim to raise as much as $900 million, or about Rs 6,530 crore then, according to a March 2019 disclosure by International Finance Corporation. IFC, one of the fund’s limited partners, had committed $20 million in May 2019 but actually invested the money just last month.

Other LPs to the vehicle include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Asian Development Bank and the Indian government-backed National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF).

The ADB had approved an investment of up to $35 million in December 2018. It had said at the time that the fund had a target of $750 million with a hard cap of $850 million.

The NIIF had committed Rs 878 crore (about $125 million) to help the fund hit the first close, a fundraising milestone after which a private equity or venture capital vehicle starts deploying the capital raised.

Multiples PE never formally announced the first close but according to multiple media reports in late 2019 it raised somewhere between $400 million and $560 million to achieve the milestone.

However, the PE firm struck its first deal from the third fund only in May this year when it teamed up with CPPIB and ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala to acquire the India-focussed animal healthcare business of Cadila Healthcare Ltd for Rs 2,921 crore ($398 million).

The firm has now closed the fundraising process after raising $680 million (Rs 5,070 crore at current exchange rates), news website DealStreetAsia reported, citing Ramnath. She also said that the fund had a target of $700-750 million.

When contacted by The Capital Quest, a spokesperson for Multiples PE declined to comment on the development.

Multiples PE had raised $405 million for its first fund in 2011 and about $690 million in its second outing in 2016. The firm invests in financial services, technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and consumer-focussed companies.

Ramnath had started Multiples PE in 2009 after quitting ICICI Venture, the private equity arm of ICICI Bank. While the firm has expanded over the years, it has also seen some senior executives quit. These include managing directors Dinesh Tiwari, Prakash Nene and Sumit Sinha.

Tiwari joined the PE firm in 2010 and left after the firm closed its second fund in 2016, purportedly over a dispute over his profit share. Nene quit in early 2018 after an eight-year stint. His resignation triggered a ‘key man’ clause, where LPs typically pause investments if important executives of a PE or VC firm leave. Sinha left in October 2019.

To be fair, Multiples is not the only PE fund to raise a smaller corpus. Last year, True North had cut short its fundraising process for the sixth fund at around $600 million as against a plan to raise the bar closer towards the $1-billion mark. The PE firm had raised $700 million in its previous outing.

Multiples PE is one of three investment houses floated a little over a decade ago. The other two are CX Partners, set up by a former CVCI India head, and Kedaara Capital, established by former Temasek and General Atlantic executives. Kedaara is currently on the road to raise what is reportedly a $1 billion corpus. It recently garnered a quarter of the total, as first reported by The Capital Quest.

Among other large homegrown conventional PE firms, ChrysCapital overshot its hard cap of $850 million for its eighth fund in 2019. Everstone is aiming at $950 million for its fourth PE fund.

Sumit Upadhyaya

The Capital Quest