India PE firm Milestone to invest $450 mln in 2011-official

By Indulal P.M. and Rajesh Kurup

MUMBAI | Tue Feb 1, 2011 7:05am EST

MUMBAI Feb 1 (Reuters) - Indian private equity firm
Milestone Capital Advisors plans to invest $450 million this
year, with a focus on the education, healthcare and real estate
industries, its managing director said in an interview.

The firm, which is planning an initial public offering this
year, has about $900 million of assets under management.

Private equity investment in India nearly doubled last year
to $7.97 billion, from a year earlier, according to Venture
Intelligence, a research firm.

Companies positioned to benefit from rising spending power
in the world's second-most populous country, with an economy
growing at about 8.5 percent a year, have been especially
sought after by private equity investors.

"These sectors are recession-proof," said Ved Prakash Arya,
the firm's managing director, referring to healthcare and

Milestone, which has invested $600 million in the Indian
property sector, plans to raise a new $110 million real estate
fund this year, he said.

"The objective is to help developers as a high-interest
rate regime could make availability of funds difficult," he

Last week, India's central bank raised interest rates by a
quarter of a percentage point -- its seventh rate increase in
less than a year -- to clamp down on resurgent inflation.

Milestone plans to make two investments this month in the
real estate sector, but Arya declined to name the firms.

Milestone, which is awaiting regulatory approval for its
IPO, has hired IDFC Capital, Edelweiss Securities (EDEL.BO) and
ICICI Securities to manage the issue. (Editing by )

Source: Reuters.Com