Actis Forming Two Funds

Actis is nearing a close on two funds – a $300 million Actis India Fund and a $150 million Actis South Asia Fund II.

Donald Peck, one of 12 managing partners of London-based Actis, says that each of the funds has raised a majority of its targets.

Peck, who heads Actis’s South Asia operation, expects a final close in the summer.

Peck and a staff of 17 oversee investments in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from offices in New Delhi and Pakistan.

At present, Peck and his team manage two funds totaling $400 million that were raised during 1998 – a South Asia Regional Fund and Actis India Fund I.

Peck says that limited partners in the firm’s current fund include the Overseas Private Investment Corp. and CDC, from which Actis originated in a management buyout in 2004, and which has invested more than half of the new funds’ capital.

Peck says that while the two funds may invest in tandem between $50 million and $55 million into each investment, the “sweet spot” for the firm is to invest between $20 million to $25 million in each deal.

Actis India will invest in India, while Actis South Asia Fund II will be divided evenly between India and the rest of its investing region.

Peck says the group is interested in pharmaceuticals, auto components and commercial vehicles, the fastest growing segments for expansion stage companies in India. About 60% of the firm’s South Asia investments go to expansion capital, and the rest is invested in MBOs or other forms of buyouts.

Peck says exits are on the rise in the region. During 2004, Actis realized $174 million on exits from previous investments, he says. More exits are in process, he says.