Business Today

The Hunt Begins

Armed with war chests, global distressed funds are eyeing troubled assets in India.

Why do you even need to raise funds from other sources? We will give you the funds needed for investing in troubled assets in India." This response from the manager of a global distressed fund stumped the executive of a big Indian corporate, who was on a tour of the US to explore business tie ups. The manager, with decades of experience in turning around junk assets, suggested that the Indian corporate partner help in managing the assets on the ground. "We both can share the returns," he said, matter of factly. The Indian partner in question is a domestic conglomerate with diversified business interests. There's more. In another meeting in the US, a global investor indicated to this executive that he could put in large money in their India focused distressed fund but demanded flexibility to co invest along with the fund when they are convinced of a good deal. "So he wants to double his stake in certain distressed assets deals," says this seasoned corporate representative who is now stitching a strategy for the group's maiden foray into distressed assets.

Cut to Mumbai. There is a palpable sense of excitement at the office of a large global distressed fund with operations in India but it's tempered with caution. The Indian origin partner of this fund often has to rein in the enthusiasm of his partners in New York. "They are gung ho on

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