Grapevine: PE firms eye stake in GVK Biosciences; Tatas mull control deal for 1mg
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Global private equity funds Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic and Apax Partners have shown interest to acquire close to a 25% stake in GVK Biosciences at a valuation of up to $800 million (about Rs 5,920 crore), people in the know told The Economic Times.

“We expect the participation of another 4-5 funds including domestic funds for acquiring the minority stake,” one of the persons said.

GVK Biosciences provides research and development services to life sciences and biopharma companies.

ChrysCapital may sell its 17% stake while the remaining would be primary infusion. ChrysCapital bought a minority stake from Sequoia Capital in 2015 at a valuation of $250 million.

Meanwhile, drawn in by the rapid growth of e-pharmacies, the Tata group is eyeing a majority stake in online pharmacy 1mg, media reports said.

In August, Reliance Retail acquired a 60% stake in Vitalic, which operates e-pharmacy Netmeds, in a deal valued at about Rs 620 crore.

Reliance’s entry also coincides with online retailer Amazon’s foray into the e-pharmacy sector.

Prior to that, online pharmacies Pharmeasy and Medlife were said to be merging their operations.

“The talks have been ongoing as Tatas look to build their super-app platform. The Tata group’s strategy is to pick up a controlling stake but keep the management to run the operations,” one of the persons said.

Sequoia Capital-backed 1mg has been in talks to raise around $100 million, but the funding may not come through, said another person.

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