US private equity giant Warburg Pincus has agreed to invest $210 million (Rs 1,575 crore) for a minority stake in Micro Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd, an Indian medical devices maker under the Meril group of companies.
The announcement comes days after The Capital Quest reported last Friday that Warburg Pincus was in advanced stages to strike a deal with Micro Life Sciences for an estimated $200-250 million.
The deal with Micro Life Sciences, which is subject to antitrust approval, will be Warburg’s second active investment in India’s healthcare segment, after pharmacy chain MedPlus Health.
Narendra Ostawal, Warburg Pincus India’s managing director, said the PE firm is looking to build an innovation-led business of medical products and solutions.
“We are excited by Meril’s compelling growth story and believe the company stands to benefit from the secular tailwinds of healthcare in India, realizing the potential of a strong pipeline of market-defining products and expansion into global markets,” Ostawal said.
Micro Life Sciences is part of the Vapi, Gujarat-based Bilakhia Group founded by Gafurbhai Bilakhia. The group’s operations are now managed by his three sons—Yunus, Jakir and Anjum Bilakhia. The group holding company has interests in the healthcare business and also has a portfolio of investments and real estate assets.
Previously, the group had scaled up and sold Micro Inks to Huber Group in a multi-million-dollar deal and divested its agrochemicals business to Aventis (now Bayer) over a decade ago. It entered the healthcare business using the proceeds from the sale of Micro Inks and the agrochemicals business.
Micro Life Sciences designs, manufactures and distributes medical devices in five therapy areas – cardiovascular including structural heart devices, orthopaedic implants, endo-surgery, surgical robotics and in-vitro diagnostics.
Founded in 1966, Warburg Pincus has more than $73 billion in private equity assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 235 companies is highly diversified by stage, sector, and geography.
The PE firm has previously backed a small bunch of firms in the healthcare domain in India including diagnostics company Metropolis Healthcare and drugmaker Laurus Labs.
As first reported by The Capital Quest, Warburg is also in an advanced stage of negotiations to pick up a majority stake in an industrials company, in what would be its second control deal in India within a year. Warburg had struck a control deal last April when it bought Parksons Packaging from Kedaara Capital for around $200 million.
The PE firm had been very active in India last year with a bunch of new investments and exit moves, and was also at the top of the charts for most profitable signoffs.
Besides Parksons Packaging, it also invested in Adani Ports and swapped its stake in Airtel DTH with a small stake in the telecom parent Bharti Airtel.