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Advent International, China’s Fosun eye stake in Symbiotec Pharmalab

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-04-2017 Anuradha Choudhary

New Delhi/Mumbai: Global private equity (PE) fund Advent International and Chinese strategic investor Fosun International Ltd are in separate talks to acquire a controlling equity stake in Indore-based Symbiotec Pharmalab Pvt. Ltd from existing investor Actis Capital, according to two people privy to the development.

“The firm has given a mandate to the investment bank Rothschild to conclude the transaction and is seeking a valuation of $160 million for the 70% equity stake held by the PE fund,” said one of the persons cited above on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

London-based Actis had picked up the stake in the bulk-drug maker for about $48 million in 2013. Anil Satwani, managing director of Symbiotec, and his family own the remaining 30% stake in the company.

Separate emails sent to Fosun International, Anil Satwani and Rothschild seeking confirmation and further details had not elicited a response at the time of going to press. A spokesperson for Advent International declined to comment.

Mint was the first to report on Actis’s stake sale plans last September.That Symbiotec has been able to elicit interest from potential PE investors was reported by VCCircle earlier this month.

If concluded, the transaction will be Actis’s second major exit after it sold its 63% stake in Paras Pharmaceuticals Ltd to Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc in 2010, in a deal that valued the company at $726 million.

This is the second time in a row that Fosun and Advent are in a face-off for a large deal in the pharma space. Both were also final contenders for KKR-backed Gland Pharma Ltd last year, which was finally acquired by Fosun in a deal that valued the company at $1.4 billion in July.

KKR had invested $200 million to acquire an undisclosed stake in Gland Pharma in 2013,

Incorporated in 1995, Symbiotec Pharmalab is in the business of development, production and marketing of research-based corticosteroids and steroid-hormone active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). It operates through two manufacturing units in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

PE exits in India rose 2% in value terms to $9.6 billion in 2016, Bain and Co.’s India Private Equity Report 2017 said. In 2015, there were total exits worth $9.4 billion.

During the year, manufacturing and healthcare sectors led the exits, with the two sectors seeing exit deals worth $2.5 billion and $1.5 billion, respectively.

The number of exits, though, fell 8% to 197 in 2016. The year saw large transactions such as KKR’s exit from Alliance Tire Group in a $1.2 billion strategic sale, Temasek’s $700 million exit from Bharti Telecom and CX Partners and Capital Square’s exit from Minacs in a $420 million strategic sale.

Public market sales, including initial public offerings, remained subdued in 2016, and there was a marked increase in the number of strategic and secondary sales.

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