Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy, a private equity portfolio managed by Franklin Templeton Asset Management (India) Pvt Ltd, has invested Rs 45 crore in mid-size pharma company Symbiotec Pharmalab, the company has said in a statement on Wednesday. However, further details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

VCCircle was the first to report it on August 9, 2011.

Indore-based Symbiotec Pharmalab is in the business of development, production and marketing of research-based corticosteroid and hormone APIs. Currently, the company owns two manufacturing facilities located in Indore and has a 40-plus product portfolio. These are supplied to leading pharmaceutical companies in India and abroad, including key clients like GSK Pharmaceuticals, Teva, Ranbaxy and Cipla.

The proceeds of the funds raised will be utilised for backward integration by setting up fermentation facilities, which are expected to improve the company’s competitive positioning and profitability. This, in turn, will attract customers from highly regulated markets, such as the USA, Europe and Japan.

“We at Symbiotec look forward to benefiting from Franklin Templeton’s global experience and achieving the common goal of transforming Symbiotec into an integrated steroids solutions provider to the global pharmaceuticals industry,” Anil Satwani, managing director of Symbiotec Pharmalab, commented on the deal.

Systematix Capital Services Pvt Ltd was the exclusive advisor to Symbiotec for this transaction.

With this transaction, Franklin Templeton completes its fourth deal in the last four months. The PE firm houses a Rs 630 crore private equity fund, advised by Darby Asia Investors (India) Pvt Ltd.

In June this year, the PE firm announced Rs 60 crore investments in Mumbai-based Kimaya Fashions Pvt Ltd, a luxury fashion house specialising in women’s ethnic wear. The fund had also invested Rs 67.5 crore in SFO Technologies Pvt Ltd in May and funded Chennai-based publishing services provider Newgen Knowledge Works in July.

Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy is managed by FT India and advised by Darby India. Darby India is the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments and manages a range of private equity, mezzanine and infrastructure funds in Asia, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe.

The highly fragmented pharmaceutical industry in India has a large potential for attracting private equity investments and future consolidations. While large firms have been gobbled up by multinational companies, opportunities lie in small and mid-size space.

Private equity firms are looking at funding both greenfield and brownfield expansions by companies in the pharma sector. The Indian pharmaceutical market is also expected to touch $40 billion by 2015, predicts the global management consulting major McKinsey & Co.



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