True North to invest $75 mn in Biocon\'s biosimilar unit
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Indian biotechnology firm Biocon Ltd on Monday said that private equity firm True North will invest Rs 536.25 crore ($74.84 million) in its subsidiary Biocon Biologics.

The deal marks the extension of a relationship between Biocon and True North, which had begun in 2003 when the PE firm first invested in the biotechnology firm.

The deal values Biocon Biologics at Rs 21,450 crore ($3 billion) on a pre-money equity basis, said Biocon in a stock market disclosure.

True North will hold 2.44% in Biocon's biosimilar business while Biocon will hold a 96.07% stake post the transaction. It did not disclose details on the remaining stake in the company.

The biosimilar business is being restructured which involved the merger of Biocon Research Ltd with Biocon Biologics.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director at Biocon, said the investment is an endorsement of the value that Biocon Biologics has demonstrated as a global biosimilars player, having commercialised three of its molecules in developed markets like EU, the US, Japan, and Australia.

The investment will help the company expand its research and development and manufacturing capabilities, said Chinappa M.B, chief financial officer at Biocon Biologics.

Biocon, which was listed on the stock exchanges in 2004, has been incubating businesses within its fold. It divested its enzymes business in 2007 and subsequently listed its research services business Syngene in 2015.

In its annual report 2019, Biocon said it is consolidating the development, manufacturing and commercialisation operations of its biosimilars business under Biocon Biologics with its own dedicated management. It appointed Christiane Hamacher as CEO of Biocon Biologics earlier in 2019.

Biocon Biologics is a fully-integrated ‘pure-play’ biosimilars organisation globally engaged in developing high-quality, affordable biosimilars aimed at expanding patient access to cutting-edge therapies. It has a product pipeline of 28 molecules including 11 with Mylan, a few with Sandoz and rest on its own.

In September last year, Biocon acquired a Chennai-based research and development (R&D) facility from Pfizer Healthcare India Ltd through Biocon Biologics.

True North

True North, formerly known as India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA), had invested in Biocon's pre-IPO round in 2003 and exited quickly the year after the biotechnology company went public.

Later in 2014 again, True North invested in Syngene, which went public the following year

Satish Chander, partner, True North, said that healthcare and life sciences has been a focus sector for the private equity firm with an investment of $600 million across 10 companies to date.

True North's investments in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals space include hospital chain Aster DM Healthcare Ltd, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd’s orthopaedic and pain management business, and single-specialty birthing chain Cloudnine Hospitals.

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