PAG Asia to buy Acme Formulation in third India control deal

 PAG Asia to buy Acme Formulation in third India control deal

Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG Asia Capital is buying a controlling stake in Acme Formulation Pvt Ltd, stitching its third takeover deal for an Indian company within a year.

PAG said Thursday it will purchase the stake in the Himachal Pradesh-based drugmaker for $145 million (about Rs 1,054 crore).

The deal comes four months after PAG decided to acquire a 61.5% stake in Edelweiss Wealth through a combination of primary and secondary shares purchases from Edelweiss Group, Kora and Sanaka Capital for $326 million. Last year, PAG had teamed up with Indian PE firms CX Partners and Samara Capital to buy a controlling stake in bulk-drugs maker Anjan Drug Pvt. Ltd for about $70 million.

The Asia-focussed PE firm is currently investing out of its $6 billion PAG Asia III buyout fund. The Acme acquisition takes the total amount it has deployed in India across the three deals to more than $500 million.

Acme, founded by Viral Shah, provides contract manufacturing and development services to top Indian and global pharmaceutical companies. Shah will retain a significant minority stake in the company and continue as managing director and CEO.

“Acme has a great reputation for high-quality manufacturing, as well as leading presence in attractive markets including sterile injectables,” said Nikhil Srivastava, PAG’s India head of private equity.

Acme makes sterile injectables, hormones, and complex oral solid formulations, among other products. It exports to more than 40 countries. Its consolidated revenue was little changed at Rs 377 crore for the year ended March 31, 2020 while its net profit declined just under 10% to Rs 23 crore.

Sumit Upadhyaya

The Capital Quest