FIPB nixes HBM Partners deal to buy stake in Amanta Healthcare from IFCI VC

Swiss investment fund HBM Healthcare Investments Ltd's proposed deal to pick a stake in Amanta Healthcare, a Gujarat-based healthcare company previously known as Marck Biosciences, has been rejected by Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), the nodal government body monitoring foreign investments in India.

The proposed deal involved a secondary transaction where HBM Healthcare Investments, which is managed by HBM Partners, was looking to buy 7.72 per cent stake in Amanta Healthcare from IFCI Venture Capital.

VCCircle had first reported in July that HBM is in talks for the transaction. IFCI Venture Capital was to exit completely in this deal.

Amanta is also backed by Tata Capital Healthcare Fund.

India Automotive Components Manufacturers Private Equity Fund –1 Domestic, a fund managed by IFCI Venture Capital, had originally invested around Rs 21 crore in the company way back in 2008. It had later put in more money in tranches.

In late 2012 Tata Capital Healthcare Fund bought a stake through a mix of fresh issue and secondary deal where IFCI Venture Capital part exited. Tata Capital holds a significant stake in the company through a combination of equity shares besides optionally and compulsorily convertible preference shares.

Amanta Healthcare manufactures IV fluids and is into formulation and development capabilities injectables.

It offers electrolyte replacements, anti-biotic solutions, diuretics, anti-infective and anti-fungal solutions and its products include sterilised water for injections, bacteriostatic water for injection, ciprofloxacin injection, ofloxacin infusion, glucose intravenous infusion, sterile water for irrigation, budesonide respirator suspension, sodium chloride eye wash & wound cleaning and ophthalmics. These products are sold in 77 countries.

The company was founded around two decades ago and is based in Ahmedabad. It is promoted by Bhavesh Patel and his family, with the head office in Ahmedabad and manufacturing plants at Kheda (Gujarat) and Goa.

It was renamed from Marck Biosciences Ltd. to Amanta Healthcare Ltd recently.

The firm had filed its documents to go public around four years ago and received SEBI approval in early 2011. However, it did not go ahead with the proposed IPO. At that time too IFCI VC was looking to part exit.

For HBM Healthcare this could have been the debut deal in India. The firm invests in the pharma, biotechnology, medical technology and diagnostics sectors and related areas. It holds and manages an international portfolio of over two dozen companies. It is listed on SIX Swiss Exchange.

It is one of the asset pools managed by HBM Partners which has around $1 billion in assets under management globally. HBM Partners also happens to be a partner for Tata Capital Healthcare Fund’s offshore fundraising.

In another decision FIPB has also rejected proposed fundraising by Delhi-based pharma company Kusum Healthcare from Upasa Holdings and a wholly owned Indian arm of BioMerieux France from increasing its holding in RAS Life sciences Private Limited, a company engaged in pharmaceutical sector, from 60 per cent to 70 per cent. BioMerieux had also sought post-facto approval for initial investment of 60 per cent in the firm. Post-facto approvals are made on application for a transaction already completed.

In another rejection, FIPB nixed a proposal for increase in FDI in Sistema Shyam Teleservices to 100 per cent through conversion of redeemable preference shares. The firm is majority owned by Russia's Sistema.

However, FIPB has approved a proposal by Sequoia to raise its holding in Koye Pharma. VCCircle had first reported in August that Sequoia, an existing investor in Koye, is raising its holding in the private firm.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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