Mumbai: European private equity firm 3i Group Plc is exploring fresh investments in India’s health care sector, nearly two years after it made its first.
“We are currently looking at several proposals for comparatively large investments in the country’s pharmaceuticals, medical devices manufacturing, and health care and laboratory services industries, including large and medium hospital groups,” said Mahesh Chhabria, partner, 3i India Pvt. Ltd, the local arm of the London-listed buyout firm.
3i India’s previous investment in the sector was in May 2007, in clinical research organization Siro Clinpharm Pvt. Ltd, the country’s largest fully integrated clinical trials organization.
Chhabria said in an interview with Mint on Thursday that the new investments could be in the form of a local acquisition by Siro Clinpharm.
Siro Climpharm, which acquired German clinical trials company Omega Mediation group and its associates in Europe in May, will look at one or two strategic acquisitions in India after the integration is completed this year.
“Our investments had been in companies which are either the only player or the leaders in that particular sector, and the deals were not below $30 million (Rs151.5 crore),” Chhabria said.
3i Group has been in India since 2005 and has invested in sectors including media, automotive, construction, power, ports and manufacturing. The firm’s investment portfolio in India is currently valued at $920 million.
In 2007, the private equity firm also signed a strategic partnership with India Infrastructure Finance Co. Ltd to invest in public works.
After launching a $1.2 billion India infrastructure fund in 2008, it has so far invested at least $330 million in Indian utilities, according to information on its website.
Globally, 3i Group has health care investments valued at €1.6 billion (Rs10,976 crore). In January, the firm hired John Moore, a former managing director and global head of health care investment banking at Morgan Stanley, as a partner responsible for its health care investment strategy across the US.
In another development, 3i Group on Friday sold 80% of its 1.78% stake in Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone Ltd in the open market for Rs165.33 crore, according to VCCircle, a private equity and venture capital blog.
Mundra Port was 3i’s first investment in India to go public. It continues to hold a 0.36% stake in the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group firm.
The shares were sold at Rs290.34 each on the National Stock Exchange in a single bulk deal.