TPG Growth leads Series C funding in Strides’ biopharma division
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Stelis Biopharma, a division of Mumbai-listed Strides Pharma Science, has raised $125 million (Rs 907 crore) as part of its Series C round led by TPG Growth. 

Route One, Think Investments and the Mankekar Family also participated in this round that has given Stelis a post-money valuation of $350 million (Rs 2,537 crore), said Strides in a stock market disclosure. 

The Series C funding comprises a primary capital infusion of $85 million and a secondary placement of $40 million for existing shareholder GMS Holdings. 

Arun Kumar, founder of Strides Group, said that GMS will continue to be its shareholder post the secondary placement. 

Strides also said that Stelis closed its Series B funding at $70 million. The family office of Strides led this round. Stelis had kicked off the process to raise Series B funding in 2018 and it had achieved the first close of the round at $35 million.  

Post the Series C funding, Strides will hold 33% in Stelis. It also plans to demerge and list its biopharma business under Stelis, it added without specifying any timeline. 

The company will use the funds raised from these rounds to complete its last mile capex for the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) business, and ramp up its process development lab and other technical capabilities. 

Part of the funds will also be deployed to build its vaccine block infrastructure, pay debt and for other general corporate purposes. 

Bengaluru-based Stelis is a vertically integrated biopharmaceutical company with R&D, process scale-up and end-to-end manufacturing capabilities. 

Stelis was earlier a fully owned subsidiary of Strides Pharma, which was formerly called Strides Shasun Ltd. In 2014, the company agreed to sell a 25.1% stake in Stelis to GMS Holdings for $21.9 million. 

TPG’s healthcare deals 

The PE firm has invested $14 billion of equity capital in the healthcare sector across the world. Of this, 20% has been invested outside the US. 

In 2017, TPG Growth set up a separate healthcare platform – Asia Healthcare Holdings (AHH) – to invest in single-speciality hospitals. 

Asia Healthcare invested in Cancer Treatment Services International, Motherhood hospital chain operator Rhea Healthcare and Nova IVI Fertility Pvt. Ltd in India. 

Last year, AHH agreed to sell Cancer Treatment Services to New York-listed Varian Medical Systems Inc. for $283 million, earning a handsome return. 

TPG Growth had previously invested directly in medical devices maker Healthium MedTech (formerly Sutures India), which it sold to Apax Partners in 2018. Its parent TPG has a stake in hospital chain Manipal Hospitals. 

Its other healthcare investments outside the US include Parkway Holdings (Singapore), Healthscope (Australia), Asiri Health (Sri Lanka) and United Family Healthcare (China). 

Earlier last year, TPG Growth increased its exposure to a bulk-drugs company Solara Active Pharma Sciences Ltd.

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