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Green fund GEF invests about $11 million in Concord Enviro Systems

According to reports, Global Environment Fund has invested about $11 million (about Rs 71 crore) in Mumbai-based wastewater-treatment company Concord Enviro Systems, the second transaction by the private equity fund in the country in 2015.

Proceeds from the investment, made through GEF’s South Asia Clean Energy Fund (SACEF), will be used to expand Concord Enviro Systems’ presence globally and introduce new products.

“Concord is GEF’s first investment in the industrial water treatment sector out of its South Asia fund. Concord’s products are at the core of GEF’s investment philosophy of using differentiated technology to drive resource efficiency,” said Raj Pai, managing director of GEF Advisors India.

Investment bank O3 Capital acted as the lead financial advisor for the transaction. Earlier, GEF had invested an undisclosed amount in Indian Energy Exchange, the country’s largest electricity exchange by volume.

Concord provides solutions focused on wastewater treatment and recycling and caters to ventures across industries, including pharmaceuticals, textiles, chemicals, fertilisers, tanneries and auto.

“We are very confident that the increased emphasis by industries on compliance coupled with the government’s focus on initiatives such as Smart Cities and Amrut (programme to provide basic civic services) will create growth opportunities for our business,” said Prayas Goel, managing director of Concord.

In 2009, it had been reported that Concord had raised about Rs 40 crore from PE firm Sage Capital Partners. It is unclear if Sage Capital has exited its position in Concord with the current investment.

The investment in Concord is GEF’s seventh in the country over the past four years. SACEF, a South Asia-focused, growth equity fund, focuses on investing in small and medium enterprises providing environmental products and services, energy efficiency technology and services and renewable energy generation.

The private equity firm, which manages assets of about $1 billion globally, has invested in Sumant Sinha-promoted wind and solar power producer ReNew Power, London Stock Exchange-listed clean energy producer Greenko Group and Rishabh Instruments, which works in the field of industrial control and test and measurement products, among others.

The growth-stage PE firm, which has invested about $150 million in India till date, typically puts in about $15 million-$20 million in each company, focusing largely on the environment, sustainability and natural resources sectors globally, including in South Asia, Latin America, Africa, China and the US.

“We had been scouting for the right investment opportunity in the wastewater segment in India and now we have found it,” said GEF’s Pai.

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