Investcorp invests $17.5m in Indian pharmaceutical company V-Ensure

The deal will allow the drugmaker to expand and launch its products in North America, Europe and other global markets

An employee in protective gear works on an assembly line for manufacturing vials of Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine at India's Serum Institute in Pune on January 22, 2021. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP)
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Investcorp, the alternative asset manager that lists Mubadala Investment Company as its biggest shareholder, invested 1.3 billion rupees ($17.5 million) in India's V-Ensure Pharma Technologies, marking its first investment in the South Asian country's pharmaceutical sector.

The deal will allow V-Ensure to expand and launch its products in North America, Europe and other global markets, the Bahrain-based company said in a statement on Monday.

Asia-based private investment firm, Tanas Capital, also participated in the funding round of V-Ensure.

"V-Ensure is a renowned name among India-based pharmaceutical research organisations which aims to tap global markets with its own products," said Gaurav Sharma, head of private equity, Investcorp India.

"Investcorp’s global presence and knowledge will potentially help V-Ensure as they look to establish their presence directly in the US market.”

The latest investment, which is the company's third in India's healthcare industry, is part of Investcorp's strategy to tap into the world's second most populous country.

The company plans to double its private equity investments in India with a particular focus on healthcare and pharmaceuticals, consumer tech and FinTech, Mr Sharma told The National in an interview last year.

India is the world’s third-largest pharmaceutical market by volume, the largest provider of generic medicines and is the biggest manufacturer of vaccines, with the market projected to reach $130bn by 2030, according to Invest India.

The country's domestic pharmaceutical market is estimated at $42bn in 2021 and likely to reach $65bn by 2024, according to the Indian Economic Survey 2021. Meanwhile, its biotechnology industry is expected to reach $150bn by 2025.

Founded in 2010, V-Ensure develops specialty pharmaceutical formulations focused on complex generics for regulated markets without infringing on any existing patents. It also specialises in developing the right strategies to obtain regulatory approvals to commercialise these molecules, Investcorp said.

V-Ensure has developed solid oral, liquid oral and injectable products for more than 45 companies across Europe, North America, China, Australia and Brazil.

"We look forward to this partnership and supporting the company in scaling its operations, both in India and globally, drawing upon our global mid-market expertise,” Mr Sharma said.

Investcorp's investments in India include logistics start-up Xpressbees, e-commerce platform FreshToHome and healthcare company NephroPlus, among others. It led a $17m investment round in Indian packaged food and beverage company Wingreens Farms in November.

Updated: February 21, 2022, 8:09 AM