UPL consortium eyes Arysta LifeScience; Temasek, Tencent may invest in FirstCry

Indian agrochemical major UPL Ltd has joined hands with sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and other investors to acquire the agricultural pesticides business of NYSE-listed Platform Specialty Products Corp., Bloomberg reported citing people aware of the development.

The Arysta LifeScience deal could generate more than $4 billion including debt, the report added.

On Monday, Rakesh Sachdev, chief executive of Platform, said the company was in exclusive discussions with a potential acquirer for Arysta LifeScience.

He didn’t disclose the identity of the prospective buyer.

The sale is part of Platform’s plan to separate its business into two standalone companies—agricultural solutions and performance solutions.

Arysta LifeScience focuses on the development, formulation, registration, marketing and distribution of crop protection products for specialty applications, including seed treatments and biosolutions.

The company employs about 3,300 people in 60 countries. Its revenue stood at around $1.9 billion in 2017.

FirstCry to raise capital

Pune-based Brainbees Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates online baby products retailer FirstCry, is in discussions to raise $100-150 million from multiple investors, Mint reported citing three people aware of the development.

The company is in talks with Singapore state investment firm Temasek, Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent and a Chinese investment firm, the report added.

Morgan Stanley is advising FirstCry on the fund raise.

FirstCry last raised $34 million (Rs 226 crore then) in October 2016 from the Mahindra Group, Switzerland-based private equity fund Adveq, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan and existing investors including IDG Ventures India.

At that point, it had acquired Mahindra & Mahindra’s babycare business BabyOye in a cash-and-stock deal worth Rs 362.1 crore ($54.3 million).

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