The Carlyle Group Invests US$20 million into Claris Lifesciences for Global Expansion

Mon, 20 March 2006

The Carlyle Group Invests US$20 million into Claris Lifesciences for Global Expansion

Mumbai, India/Hong Kong - Global private equity firm The Carlyle Group has made a US$20 million investment in Claris Lifesciences Limited (Claris), a leading Indian pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets life saving products for treating critical illness.

The investment will fund Claris' growth plans, which include expanding existing capacity and establishing new facilities, R&D and product development initiatives. These are the key components of Claris’ strategy to enter into top regulated markets in the United States and Europe.

Claris occupies a unique and niche position in the global pharmaceutical space, with just a handful of international competitors. Its product basket encompasses the high-end critical care segments including clinical nutrition, anesthesia, blood products, plasma expanders, transplant, dialysis, anti-infectives, and cardiology.

Started in 2000, Claris has built up strong regulatory and registration capabilities with over 1,000 product dossiers filed in various countries including six Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDA) in the United States and 40 Marketing Authorization Applications (MAAs) in Europe and Australia. Its products are supplied to hospitals in over 65 countries worldwide.

Through extensive R&D efforts and its understanding of novel drug delivery systems, Claris has successfully developed into one of few companies in the world to possess the know-how for manufacturing finished products including fat emulsions, multi-chamber nutrition systems, and L-Glutamine, as well as complex active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) such as Iron Sucrose and Hydroxyethyl Starch. Claris’ unique positioning lies in its ability to offer a wide range of delivery systems. It recently commissioned a dedicated API manufacturing facility as per USFDA Drug Master File (DMF) guidelines. These facilities allow the company to have significant cost advantages in the global market.

Sushil Handa of Claris Lifesciences, said, "I am delighted to welcome Carlyle as a strategic partner. As a leading global private equity firm, Carlyle’s depth of industry expertise worldwide combined with a strong local understanding will be of significant benefit to Claris. Carlyle’s investment comes at an inflection point, with Claris poised to grow multifold in the next couple of years. The expansion plans will significantly enhance Claris' ability to establish its international presence and tap the full potential of the global injectables market."

Shankar Narayanan, Managing Director and Head of Carlyle’s Growth Capital team for India, said, "Claris is led by seasoned entrepreneurs who have built the company into a strong, world-class player in a very short period. Under their leadership, Claris has opted to focus on highly profitable segments with less than three to four players in a single product space to minimize competitive intensity".

Wayne Tsou, Managing Director and Head of Carlyle's Asia Growth Capital group, said, "Claris is a fine example of the type of already successful, high-growth companies that our group seeks to invest in key Asian markets - India, China, Japan and Korea. They are at an expansionary stage where Carlyle can help engineer significant growth through tapping our global network, financial and management expertise, as well as deep industry and in-country knowledge.

"Our experience in managing a global portfolio of healthcare companies will be valuable to support Claris' international expansion and help attract strong talent and partnership opportunities in various markets."

Claris’ world-class manufacturing facilities are housed on an 85-acre campus located in Ahmedabad, India. The facilities are approved by international regulatory authorities including MHRA (UK), TGA (Australia), NAM (Finland), GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) and ANVISA (Brazil). Claris is targeting US FDA inspection and approval of its manufacturing facilities in 2006.

The company has a presence in over 65 countries with global brands that are well accepted and enjoy leadership position in various markets.

M/s. Skyzen Capital Advisors Private Limited, Mumbai, acted as exclusive advisors to Claris for the investment.