PE firm Advent to buy controlling stake in ZCL Chemicals at enterprise value of Rs 1,700 crore

Private equity fund Advent International will acquire a controlling stake in pharmaceutical company ZCL Chemicals for an enterprise value of Rs 1,700 crore, sources said on Monday.

Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia is exiting its minority stake in ZCL, earlier known as Zandu Chemicals, with the transaction, according to an official statement.

ZCL manufactures specialty active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and advanced intermediates, with a focus on niche therapeutic areas and has a US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA)-approved facility.

Advent announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in ZCL Chemicals, while sources said that the enterprise value at which the stake of over 51 per cent has been acquired is Rs 1,700 crore.

"ZCL is a high-growth business, led by a capable management team, which will further fortify our presence in the API market, a key sub-sector focus of ours," said Shweta Jalan, managing director and head (India) at Advent International India.

This is Advent's third pharmaceuticals investment in India and the second in the API space, she said.

In the past 12 months, Advent has committed over USD 1.2 billion globally across the healthcare sector and USD 600 million in four Indian companies into healthcare, consumer, and financial services, the statement said.

Advent, which signed its first cheque for an Indian company in 2007, has deployed over USD 1.7 billion in the country across a dozen deals. Transactions over the past year include RA Chem, Bharat Serums and Vaccines and Aditya Birla Capital.

ZCL's differentiated product portfolio, strong pipeline and its high focus on quality and compliance impressed the private equity fund, its director Pankaj Patwari said. ZCL Executive Director Nihar Parikh said that over the past 12 years, they have established as a leading pure-play API company.

"We are excited for the future of ZCL, and strongly believe Advent's global expertise in the pharmaceutical space, combined with ZCL's strong capabilities in manufacturing and R&D and a culture of customer centricity, will ensure that we keep up our tradition of delivering immense customer value," he added.

Morgan Stanley Co-Head (Private Equity in India) Nirav Mehta said they had invested in the company four years ago and are happy with the progress done by the company.

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