PE fund Creador to sell Corona Remedies stake; eyes Rs 2,400 cr valuation

The Kuala Lumpur based private equity firm Creador is all set to monetize its investment in Gujarat based drug manufacturer Corona Remedies. Creador will start its discussions with various PE funds to sell its 20% stake in Corona for Rs.400-450 crore, said multiple people aware of the development.

Spark Capital is advising the PE fund for the stake sale. The proposed deal is expected to value Corona at Rs.2000-2400 crore.

In 2016, Creador invested about Rs.120 crore in Corona to buy a minority stake.

When contacted, a Creador spokesperson declined to comment.

Incorporated in 2004, Corona has drugs in therapeutic segments like cardio diabetic, nutraceuticals, gynecology, orthopedic and pediatrics.

In recent past, Ahmedabad-based Corona Remedies has expanded its presence through multiple acquisitions. In 2017, it had acquired four drug brands of GlaxoSmithKline – Dilo-BM, Dilo-DX, Stelbid and Vitneurin. Two brands from Abbott India – Obimet and Thyrocab range of products were acquired in 2018. Two months ago, Corona Remedies had picked up a minority stake in hormone API maker La Chandra Pharmalab.

Founded in 2011 by Brahmal Vasudevan – former Managing Director at ChrysCapital, Creador invests in companies across South and Southeast Asia. The firm has raised $ 565 million for its fourth fund, Creador IV.

Besides Corona, Creador has exposure in Indian healthcare space through its investment in Paras Healthcare, a North India focused hospital chain. Creador has also invested in Ujjivan Financial Services, the holding company of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank and Kogta Financial, a non-banking finance company (NBFC).

Though every sector has been hit by Corona pandemic, pharmaceuticals remains the favourite investment destination of PE funds. The size of PE deals in pharma has doubled in 2020, compared with last year.

In 2020, India has witnessed large PE buyouts in the pharmaceuticals & healthcare sector worth $ 1.7 billion.

In June, Carlyle agreed to buy 20 percent stake in Piramal group’s pharmaceutical business for about Rs 3700 crore and Carlyle also picked a 74% stake in animal health focused pharmaceutical company SeQuent Scientific for about Rs 1,580 crore in May.

US private equity giant KKR acquired about 54 per cent stake in Mumbai-based drug manufacturer JB Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals, for Rs 3,100 crore in the first week of July. The US fund Advent International also had acquired a controlling stake in Hyderabad-based API manufacturer Ra Chem Pharma in July.

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