Actis elicits interest from investors for stake in Symbiotec Pharmalab

Private equity firm Actis Capital, which invested in Symbiotec Pharmalab in October 2013, has received interest from investors for its stake in the Indore-based drugmaker, a person close to the development told VCCircle.

The PE firm has been fielding pitches from investment banks vying for a mandate to help Actis exit Symbiotec Pharmalab, the person cited above said on the condition of anonymity.

Earlier in the day Mint, citing two people aware of the development, said Actis is seeking $280 million for its stake in the firm, valuing the company at around $400 million (Rs 2,672 crore).  

Actis and Anil Satwani, managing director of Symbiotec Pharmalab, did not respond to email queries for comments.

Actis now owns a 69.7% in the firm, having acquired control in October 2013 for $55.1 million from the owners and private equity Franklin Templeton, as per VCCEdge, the data research platform of News Corp VCCircle.

Founded in 1994, Indore-based Symbiotec Pharmalab makes active pharmaceuticals ingredients (API) for corticosteroids and hormones, as per its website.

The API firm reported annual sales of Rs 389 crore in FY2014-15, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of Rs 68 crore, as per VCCEdge.   

Symbiotec’s EBITDA for FY2015-16 was around Rs 70 crore, the person quoted above said. 

This would suggest that the owners of the hormonal API manufacturer are seeking around 38-40 times EBITDA for an enterprise value of around $400 million.    

Actis has historically seen good returns from its pharmaceuticals investments. In 2010, it sold its 63% stake in Paras Pharmaceuticals for $732 million setting a valuation benchmark for the segment. It also exited Glenmark Pharmaceuticals in 2006 with significant returns.

Besides, Actis is in the process of exiting Endurance Technologies having hired Axis Capital and Citi Group for an IPO.

Other deals in the pharma space include Akums Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, which is looking to sell stake in a potential control transaction.

In addition, Baxter India is in advanced talks to sell its Intravenous portfolio while Chrys Capital is exiting its portfolio firm Ahmedabad-based drug maker Eris Life Sciences via a public listing.

Also, in a recent transaction, Fosun acquired a 86% stake in injectables company Gland Pharma for $1.26 billion at around 18 times EBITDA. Gland Pharma reported an EBITDA of around $80 million for FY2015-16, as per an earlier report by The Economic Times.

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