The race to buy Indian biopharmaceuticals company Bharat Serums and Vaccines has hotted up with a host of private equity firms and asset managers such as Carlyle, Bain Capital, KKR, Blackstone and UK’s Permira competing for a deal that would value BSV at well over $2 billion, sources said.

Non-binding bids are expected to be submitted by the end of this month, people aware of developments said, adding that it would be a full sale process.

Jefferies and JP Morgan are advisors to the transaction.

Private equity firm Advent International, which owns BSV, is looking for an exit after four years and has been in talks since last year with pharma companies and PE firms to sell its stake. It had originally acquired a 74 per cent stake in the firm in 2019 valuing BSV at $500 million and then later acquired the remaining stake from the Daftary family. Sources said that it is looking at a hefty return on its investment.

Bharat Serums is a biopharmaceutical leader in women’s healthcare, assisted reproductive treatment, critical care, and emergency medicine. In FY23 it reported a net profit of ₹9.4 crore, compared to loss year ago and revenue of ₹1,207 crore, up 13.8 per cent on year. In FY20, it had reported a net profit of ₹48.6 crore on revenue of ₹822 crore.

Potential targets

Blackstone’s interest in BSV is still preliminary, sources said. It is known to be evaluating potential targets in the Indian pharma and healthcare segment. Last year, it made an entry into the healthcare sector with stakes in CARE Hospitals and KIMS Healthcare with an investment commitment of $1 billion.

Pharma and healthcare products company Mankind Pharma is also one of the contenders to buy BSV, though it has termed such reports as speculative. On Wednesday, the company’s board approved raising ₹7,500 crore through the issue of equity or convertible securities and increased its borrowing limits to ₹12,500 crore. In an earnings’ call the management, without getting into specifics, said that it was creating a war chest to be ready for acquisition opportunities “big or small”. Vice-Chairman and MD Rajeev Juneja said that it was looking for potential acquisitions in the chronic and consumer segment.

Advent, Blackstone, Permira declined any comment for the story. KKR, Carlyle, Bain Capital and Mankind Pharma had not responded by press time.

BSV: At a glance

* Bharat Serums and Vaccines is a biopharmaceutical leader in women’s healthcare, assisted reproductive treatment, critical care and emergency medicine

* BSV revenues rose to ₹1,207 crore in FY23 from ₹822 crore in FY20

* Non-binding bids to be submitted by May-end