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Kravis and Roberts’ KKR Invests $200 Million In Indian Company Gland Pharma

KKR (L-R) Founders George Roberts and Henry Kravis

KKR (L-R) Founders George Roberts and Henry Kravis / Getty

On Wednesday New York based private equity giant KKR announced it was investing US$200 million to acquire a minority stake in Indian generic pharmaceuticals company Gland Pharma Limited.

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Gland Pharma is the leading Indian pure-play generic injectable pharmaceutical products company and the KKR purchase includes buying out the entire stake previously held by, Dubai based, Evolvence Capital through its India life sciences fund.

Gland Pharma was established in 1978 and is based in Hyderabad, a hilly conurbation in southern India. Known as the “City of Pearls” for its pearl and diamond trading activities, in the last twenty years Hyderabad and its environs have become a very successful high tech hub, particularly for pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. For that reason it has also been dubbed “Genome Valley” from whence come the Genomes of Hyderabad….

Gland Pharma’s business is the development and marketing of generic injectable drugs. It sells these to the United States, as well as within India and in other semi-regulated markets. Gland Pharma was the first Indian company ever to obtain, in 2003, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for pharmaceutical liquid injectable products.

Gland Pharma has also pioneered pre-filled syringe technology in India, much of the technology for which comes from its existing, and now continuing, investor Vetter Pharma of Germany. Gland Pharama exports products in this format too to the US market. Having as well pioneered Heparin anticoagulant technology in India, Gland Pharma has a strong position in the US market for that product through its distributor there.

Gland Pharma Founder and Chairman P V N Raju said of the new deal,  “Gland Pharma is at an important juncture in its evolution where we have proven our sterile manufacturing capabilities, established ourselves as a high-quality manufacturer of complicated injectable products and achieved a track-record of strong financial performance.”

GLAND LOGO“Our partnership with KKR will help us in our next phase of growth as we look to materially expand our manufacturing capacities and invest more in our development work with the goal of expanding our product registrations.”

He then added a thank you for his existing German investors, “We thank the Vetter family of Ravensburg, Germany, who are investors in Gland Pharma, for inspiring Gland Pharma in the niche field of pre-filled syringes. Vetter Pharma, owned by the Vetter family, enjoys a pre-eminent position globally in the field of pre-filled syringe technology.”

We might add as a side note that the Vetter family he is referring to is not related in any way to the infamous Dr. Helmut Vetter who was a doctor at the Auschwitz concentration camp, and who was hanged for war crimes at the end of the second world-war. The founder of Vetter Pharma indeed had the same name, but his is altogether a much more wholesome story.

Gland Pharma Vice Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Ravi Penmetsa, who now runs the business side of Gland Pharma, then himself pointed out, …

“We are very excited about the Company’s future given our strong pipeline of innovative injectable products that are awaiting FDA approval. In addition to securing growth capital, we look forward to leveraging KKR’s global network of relationships to help enter new markets.”

KKR’s investment in Gland Pharma represents its fourth announced investment from the KKR Asian II Fund and its second overall private equity investment in India in 2013. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

About Gland Pharma

Established in 1978, Gland Pharma is a research-focused organization continuously developing niche products for the Indian and global pharmaceutical markets. It has pioneered Heparin anticoagulant technology in India and has a position of leadership in the GlycosAminoGlycans (GAGs) range of molecules useful for some cancer treatments. The company manufactures Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and injectable formulations for niche segments such as Osteoarthritis, Anti-coagulants, Gynaecology, and Ophthalmology.

About KKR

Founded in 1976 and led by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, KKR is a leading global investment firm with US$83.5 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2013. With offices around the world, KKR manages assets through a variety of investment funds and accounts covering multiple asset classes.

KKR seeks to create value by bringing operational expertise to its portfolio companies and through active oversight and monitoring of its investments. KKR complements its investment expertise and strengthens interactions with fund investors through its client relationships and capital markets platform.




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