Claris Lifesciences Ltd is selling majority stake in its infusion business in India and other emerging markets by forming a three party joint venture with Japan’s Otsuka Pharmaceuticals Factory Inc., Japan (OPF) and Mitsui & Co. Limited. The public listed pharma company is selling 80 per cent in the business for Rs 1,050 crore ($194 million).

Claris will continue to own the balance 20 per cent of the business valued at Rs 1,313 crore.

As a part of the transaction, Claris will move Common Solutions, Anti-Infectives, Plasma Volume Expanders and Parental Nutrition therapies businesses to the tripartite JV – Claris-Otsuka. It will also transfer two of its five plants to this JV.

Claris-Otsuka will co-brand its products in India and other emerging markets and will leverage on Claris’ manufacturing, marketing and supply chain The JV will also bring Otsuka’s specialty products to India and other emerging markets.

"This partnership enables Claris to focus and intensify its efforts to build out its specialty business. Globally injectable products are in shortage as pure-play injectable companies are a rarity. The company has always had a niche positioning within the injectables domain and this transaction will help us to further build on the advantage by intensifying our new product development pipeline with several large and complex injectable products," said Arjun Handa, MD and CEO of Claris.

Barclays was the sole advisor to Claris for the transaction.

Claris scrip closed at Rs 264.55 a share, down 3.75 per cent on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Friday. The scrip hit its 52-week high this week on an impending deal, but has retracted over the last two days. The share price has climbed more than 100 per cent over the last one year.

Carlye, through First Carlyle Ventures III, had invested $20 million (Rs 90 crore) in Claris Lifesciences in March 2006 and currently holds 11.14 per cent stake. It had picked up the shares at an average cost of Rs 127 a piece and is currently sitting on 108 per cent gain on its investment.

In July this year New York-based private equity firm Signet Healthcare Partners picked up a little over 2 per cent stake in Claris Lifesciences in arguably its debut deal in India. It picked 2.2 per cent stake for Rs 22.78 crore from one of the promoters of the firm.

The Ahmedabad-based pharma company raised Rs 300 crore through its IPO in December 2010.

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