SoftBank is in talks to acquire a stake in Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd’s pharmacy arm Apollo HealthCo as part of the Japanese company’s focus on India’s healthcare market.

Sources said that Apollo is looking to sell about 25 per cent stake in the company. The talks are at a preliminary stage. SoftBank is one of the investors who are in a race to acquire the stake, said two people in the know.

One of the sources said: “Earlier last month, Apollo approached SoftBank for a stake in the company. Though it hasn’t signed a term sheet yet and the conversations are preliminary, SoftBank is interested in India’s pharma sector, so it might result in a deal.”

Apollo Hospitals and SoftBank did not respond to BusinessLine ’s query.

Last month, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd (AHEL) had carved out a wholly-owned subsidiary called Apollo HealthCo Ltd (AHL) into which it had demerged AHEL’s back-end offline pharmacy business (excluding hospital-based pharmacies), digital healthcare platform Apollo 24/7, and retail pharmacy business (Apollo Medicals Private Ltd), and the “Apollo 24/7” brand.

Post external capital raise at AHL, AHEL is expected to retain a dominant majority shareholding in AHL and a slump sale consideration of ₹1,210 crore will be received by AHEL.

Sources said the Apollo HealthCo, which is at ₹6,000 crore revenue, is growing 20 per cent on a year-on-year basis and is likely to reach ₹12,000 crore in the next four years.

Last year, it was reported that Apollo Hospitals was in conversation with Amazon for a $100-million deal. However, sources have said that the conversation with Amazon has not progressed.