PE-backed Avantor Pays $100M For Indian Biotech Firm

Indian private equity fund ICICI Venture sold its stake in biotech company RFCL to U.S.-based Avantor Performance Materials, Reuters reported. Avantor paid roughly $100 million for the 85% stake in RFCL, which develops technology for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. RFCL is based in New Delhi. Avantor is owned by New York-based private equity firm New Mountain Capital.

(Reuters) – ICICI Venture, No.2 Indian lender ICICI Bank’s private equity arm, has sold its 85 percent stake in biotech firm RFCL to U.S.-based Avantor Performance Materials Holdings for what sources said was $100 million.

Avantor in a statement said that it entered into a agreement to buy RFCL from ICICI Venture, but did not disclose the price.

“With this transaction, we have effected a complete exit from our investment in RFCL,” ICICI Venture Executive Director Prashant Purker said.

Three sources with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed the price to Reuters. The sources said Lazard India was advising Avantor in the transaction, while ICICI Venture was being advised by NM Rothschild & Sons.

Avantor is a unit of New Mountain Capital LLC, the statement said. The Business Standard newspaper reported on Thursday that ICICI Venture was selling its RFCL stake to Avantor for 5 billion Indian rupees ($113 million). In January, ICICI Venture CEO Vishakha Mulye had said the fund was planning to exit some of its earlier investments, and over the last year it has sold off a string of businesses.

Last year, RFCL sold its animal health business to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals India Private Ltd, the local arm of U.S.-based drugmaker Pfizer Inc.

In June, ICICI Venture sold its stake in Mumbai-based Metropolis Healthcare to U.S. private equity giant Warburg Pincus for $85 million.

By Indulal P.M.
(Editing by Bryson Hull)