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Private equity fund Cerestra raising US$300M for education assets in India

Private equity fund Cerestra Advisors Ltd. is seeking to raise a US$300 million offshore education-infrastructure fund that would include a US$100 million green-shoe option, India's Mint reported.

The fund will invest in school buildings that are part of a large chain of operators.

Cerestra, which was acquired by London-based asset manager The Capital Partnership from Religare Global Asset Management in August 2017, also plans to launch an infrastructure investment trust, or InvIT, in the near future, the report noted, citing Managing Director Jasmeet Chhabra.

InvITs are similar to real estate investment trusts and are meant to facilitate investment into the infrastructure sector in India by managing income-yielding infrastructure assets. Cerestra's planned InvIT will be the first of its kind dedicated to education and would provide additional capital to school operators to facilitate the faster roll out of schools to meet an increasing demand gap in India, the May 18 report noted, citing Chhabra.

Cerestra also invests in the life sciences segment and has acquired, developed and leased a portfolio to research and development clients. Chhabra said the fund is creating a national network of lab space infrastructure with a target portfolio of more than 5 million square feet in five years, with the eventual goal of listing a premium life science infrastructure REIT.