Religare Venture Capital, a wholly subsidiary of Religare Enterprises, said on Wednesday that it has formed a 50:50 joint venture with a leading private equity player Milestone Capital for managing a Rs.600 crore healthcare and education fund to be raised domestically.

Under the partnership, Religare along with its affiliates will contribute Rs.60 crore in a new investment management company, which would manage Milestone's current 'India Build-Out Fund'. The fund has an existing corpus of over Rs.100 crore. The minimum commitment required is Rs.10 lakhs and the life of the fund will be 5 years.

In addition to the existing experience of the private equity team of Milestone, Religare has drawn on some senior medical professionals from its group with significant hands-on experience in effective healthcare delivery and in improving operational efficiencies.

Private equity has been an area of great interest to us given the management's experience of managing and ramping up businesses at a fast pace. Healthcare and Education are two sectors which we believe are poised for balanced growth and we have the requisite domain expertise on healthcare which we intend to leverage for larger benefit of investors of the fund. Sunil Godhwani, the CEO and MD Religare said.

Mumbai-headquartered Milestone Group is an independent business formed in 2007 to actively manage investments for Indian & global investors, across various asset classes in India. The group has so far invested in projects worth more than $1.0 billion through 6 funds across three asset classes. Milestone invests in private equity, real estate development and real estate yield driven projects in India.

Separately, reports suggest that Religare Enterprises is planning to acquire a controlling stake in Maharishi Housing Development Finance Corp. or MHDFC for an undisclosed amount. Since MHDFC holds the NHB license and the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests (SARFAESI) license, the acquisition will help Religare get into home loans, asset recovery and reconstruction business, it was said.

Religare Enterprises is a holding company of 11 subsidiaries engaged in offering financial services targeted at retail, high net worth individuals besides corporate and institutional clients. It has recently increased the size of its rights issue to up to Rs.1, 850 crore from Rs.1, 802.48 crore, for which it has already filed the draft letter of offer with the Securities and Exchange Board of India

On Wednesday, Religare Enterprises pared most of its early gains and closed at Rs.Rs.325 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, up 0.20% over the previous close. Totally, 39,568 shares were traded compared to a 2-week average daily volume of 5,305 shares.

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