Grapevine: KKR leads race for Piramal pharma stake; Glaxo looks to sell HUL holding
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Private equity firm KKR is leading the race to acquire a stake in the pharmaceutical business of billionaire Ajay Piramal-led Piramal Enterprises Ltd, a media report said.

Piramal Enterprises is seeking to sell a 20% stake in the pharmaceutical business for $500 million, valuing it at $2.5 billion, Moneycontrol reported citing sources it didn’t identify.

The report also said that PE firm TPG Capital was also in the race but has dropped out because it was keen on acquiring a majority stake rather than a minority holding.

KKR has previously invested in at least two Indian pharmaceutical companies—Slayback Pharma and Gland Pharma Ltd. The PE firm had put in $60 million in Slayback in early 2017 while it exited Gland Pharma later that year by selling its stake to China’s Fosun Group.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that GlaxoSmithKline Plc was preparing to begin a process to sell its 5.7% stake in Hindustan Unilever Ltd.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said that Glaxo plans to divest part or all of its stake in Hindustan Unilever through block trades on stock exchanges. The stake is currently valued around $3.7 billion.

GSK had received the stake when it sold a bunch of assets to Unilever. HUL had, in December 2018, agreed to acquire GlaxoSmithKline’s Indian consumer nutrition business at a valuation of Rs 31,700 crore ($4.5 billion then). The deal gave HUL best-selling brands such as Horlicks.

In another development, 10i Commerce Services Pvt. Ltd, which provides a business-to-business e-commerce platform for small retailers under the brand name ShopX, has raised Rs 10.7 crore ($1.4 million), Entrackr said.

Citing regulatory filings, the report said that the funding was raised from three individuals: Rajesh Ranavat, Fung Capital’s managing director; his wife Sandhya Ranavat; and former chairman of Crompton Greaves, Kewal Nohria.

The company last raised close to $35 million from Hong Kong-based Fung Group’s investment arm in August 2018.

In 2016, the company received close to $18 million in funding from Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani.

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