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Dubai's Evolvence scores largest PE deal in Indian healthcare sector

Transaction subject to regulatory approvals In what is being touted as the largest private equity deal to date in the Indian healthcare sector, Evolvence India Fund (EIF) has just announced the signing of an agreement for the exit of its investment in Gland Pharmaceuticals Limited, a pure-play generic injectable pharmaceutical products company. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Buyout firm KKR and Co. Lp (KKR) will acquire a minority stake in the company for approximately $200 million, including KKR's acquisition of the entire stake held by Evolvence India Fund (EIF).

EIF was launched in 2005 by the Dubai-based alternative investment group Evolvence Capital . The Gulf-based parent company has also sponsored Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund (EILSF), the lead co-investor in Gland Pharmaceuticals.

Khaled Al Muhairy, the CEO of Evolvence Capital , was one of the earliest GCC-based movers into the Indian private equity domain. His brainchild EIF is the first independent private equity fund of funds focused on India, and had its final close in July 2007 with a total corpus of $250 million.

Al Muhairy said that the core strategy of providing diversification through fund investments and enhanced returns through co-investments has proven itself with the stability of returns provided by EIF's fund investments and the distinct outperformance of its co-investments.

"Despite challenging conditions around most of the emerging markets, the deal in Gland Pharmaceuticals demonstrates the ability of our team to create successful exits. There remains a healthy appetite for good quality deals among foreign investors, especially in consumer and related sectors in India," said Ajit Kumar, Managing Partner of EIF.

EIF, with $250 million of assets under management, has a unique hybrid strategy, with a mandate to invest 60 per cent of its allocation with top performing Indian private equity managers and the remaining 40 per cent towards co-investments and direct investments in select portfolio companies. The fund of funds has invested in 10 funds and eight co-investments.

"We are now fundraising for our second fund and have recently secured an anchor commitment from a large US investor," said Kumar. The strategy for Evolvence India Fund II continues to focus on investing in growth capital within India, primarily through commitments to niche and differentiated managers within the small and midmarket space as well as investing in carefully select portfolio companies directly as co-investments.

"India is currently witnessing a revival in sentiment, re-positioning it once again as one of the preferred destinations for private equity amongst other Emerging Markets. Over the past few months, institutional capital from the US, Europe and the Middle East are being channelled into India and we believe that fundraising for India-dedicated PE vehicles will gain significant momentum next year," Kumar added., Dec 16 2013
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