Actis invests $48M in drug manufacturer Symbiotec Pharmalab

Private equity firm Actis has invested $48 million (around Rs 295 crore) to pick a significant stake in Indore-based active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) company Symbiotec Pharmalab Ltd. According to the company’s statement, Symbiotec is country’s second-largest player for steroid-hormone API.

The privately held steroid-hormone API firm serves over 200 companies, including generic pharma players to make medicine for treatment of inflammation, asthma, dermatology, immune functions and infertility.

“Symbiotec is the leading Indian manufacturer of steroids-hormone APIs, a specialised pharmaceutical segment. With its US FDA approved facilities and high quality products with Asian cost manufacturing advantages, it is on track to become a leading global player,” said JM Trivedi, partner and head of South Asia at Actis.

This is the second pure pharma deal for Actis in the country after Glenmark. The firm has been betting on healthcare and other related service firms in the past including clinical research business besides being a previous investor in Paras Pharma, which was at the intersection of health and personal care products with over-the-counter branded products. Actis exited in a blockbuster deal by selling Paras Pharma to Reckitt Benckiser a few years ago.

“With Actis’ help, we look forward to becoming a global force in steroid-hormone segment,” said Anil Satwani, founder of Symbiotec.

Symbiotec was advised by IDFC Capital for the deal.

India is one of the largest generic drug making countries in the world and has the largest number of US FDA approved API plants.

This sector has attracted a lot of attention and investments from private equity players even in a lacklustre investment environment. Other PE deals in pharma over the last year or so include CX Partners committing $25 million in Natco Pharma, Fulcrum Venture investing in Shield Healthcare, Tano Capital investing in Shilpa Medicare and ChrysCap backing Intas and Ipca.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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