PE firm Multiples in talks to invest in Encube Ethicals

By Joseph Rai

  • 21 Jul 2016

Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt. Ltd is in advanced talks to invest in contract development and manufacturing firm Encube Ethicals Pvt. Ltd, in a deal that will be the private equity firm's second investment in the healthcare sector.

Multiples, led by former ICICI Venture CEO Renuka Ramnath, is looking to invest Rs 275 crore ($41 million) in Encube, the Mint reported.

The PE firm declined to comment on the development while an email sent to Encube did not elicit any response.

Mumbai-based Encube was set up in 1995. It develops and makes topical semi-solid formulations, anti-inflammatory agents, anti-inflammatory agents, antifungals, antiseptics, antibiotics, antivirals and moisturizers. The firm also offers dermatological, pharmaceutical and therapeutic preparations, patent medicines and drugs. 

The company clocked net sales of Rs 221.18 crore in the year through March 2015, up from Rs 169.66 crore the previous year, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle. It posted a net profit of Rs 49.6 crore for 2014-15 and Rs 35.8 crore the year before.

Another contract research services firm in India is Syngene International Ltd. The subsidiary of Biocon Ltd launched its IPO last year and made a spectacular debut on the stock markets.

Multiples investments and exits

Multiples' first investment in the healthcare sector was in Bangalore-based Vikram Hospital. The PE firm is now looking to exit the hospital, a person close to the development told VCCircle recently. 

The exit from Vikram Hospital will be Multiples' third from its Fund I, which made investments in 11 companies and has been fully invested. Vikram Hospital was the only healthcare company where it put its money in.

It made its first full exit activity by selling its remaining 3.67% stake in its two-year-old investment in South Indian Bank for Rs 151 crore ($23.8 million) in January 2015. It has also exited Murugappa group's financial services firm Cholamandalam.

Multiples had raised its maiden $405 million fund in 2011 wherein Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Dutch pension fund PGGM, UK’s CDC Group and pension and sovereign funds from Europe and West Asia were the anchor investors. 

Multiples' current portfolio includes multiplex firm PVR, e-tailing focused logistics company Delhivery, textiles major Arvind and Indian Energy Exchange.

Multiples is looking to raise $550-600 million in its second outing, as per a disclosure by World Bank's private investment arm International Finance Corporation. IFC has proposed to put in $40.6 million (Rs 270 crore) in the Indian PE firm's second fund. If it is successful, Multiples'  assets under management will touch $1 billion. 

Many other India-focused PE firms are on the road to raise new funds. CX Partners is looking to raise $400 million; Asian Healthcare Fund is eyeing up to $150 million in a sector-focused fund and Sabre Capital is raising around $45 million in a new healthcare-focused fund.

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