Wednesday, April 11, 2007

US-based PE firm Jacob Ballas invests $10 mn in biotech firm Avesthagen

US-based private equity firm Jacob Ballas Capital is close to buying a minority stake in Bangalore-based biotech firm Avestha Gengraine Technologies, popularly known as Avesthagen, for about $10 mn. Jacob Ballas’ $10 mn investment will be $5 mn in equity and $5 mn in warrants. The deal is being structured at Rs. 1850 per share, and values the company at $124 mn.

Jacob Ballas is an India-focused private equity firm floated by New York Life Investment Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company, Singapore-based Excelfin, Indo-Pacific Estates and India’s construction-engineering firm Punj Lloyd.

Avesthagen had recently raised $32 mn from Fidelity Investments and France-based biotech majors BioMerieux and Limagrain and the food giant Danone. The company has also raised $5-7 mn from Indian corporates such as the Godrej, Cipla, the Tata Group, and ICICI Ventures. ICICI Ventures and Fidelity hold 19% and 10% stake, respectively, in the company while other strategic investors hold 4-6% stake.

Avesthagen is into biopharmaceuticals, bio-nutritionals and bio-agriculture, and also has a portfolio of heath foods, including biscuits and breakfast cereals. Jacob Ballas’ fund infusion will be used for the company’s proposed acquisitions and patent filings. Avesthagen is in the process of acquiring two domestic seed companies to deploy technology that it has developed in the agri-biotechnology business and is in talks with at least five Indian seed companies for possible acquisitions. The capital expansion is also being done to set up manufacturing facilities to upscale production, before moving into phase two of research and development.

Read The Economic Times article.
Related Post:
Avesthagen sells 20% stake for €25 mn

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