Indian Businesses Active in Foreign Cooperation

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Mar. 31 – Indian businesses have been busy recently signing new cooperations with foreign companies across the world. Here we provide a summary of some of the most important deals Indian companies have signed across several industries.

Ashok Leyland and Nissan unveil first LCV
India’s second largest heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland rolled out its first light commercial vehicle (LCV) Dost together with its partner, the Japan-headquartered automaker Nissan. As the current joint venture between the two companies covers cooperation in manufacturing, technology and power train for LCV production, in the future the two parties will likely expand their JV to include van design and development.

Reckitt Benckiser obtains approval for Paras Pharmaceuticals’ acquisition
The United Kingdom-based fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company Reckitt Benckiser has just obtained approval from the Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on March 29 for foreign direct investment amounting Rs.33 billion into the company’s subsidiary to fund its acquisition of Paras Pharmaceuticals, one of India’s leading FMCG companies. Reckett Benckiser had agreed to fully acquire Paras Pharmaceuticals for Rs.32.6 billion last December.

Hero Investments to receive funds for the acquisition of Honda’s stake
On March 29, the CCEA approved the FDI infusion with an amount of Rs.45 billion into Hero Investments, part of India’s major two-wheeler manufacturer Hero Group, as the fund for the acquisition of Hero’s Japanese partner Honda’s stake in the two parties’ joint venture firm Hero Honda Motors Limited.

Hero announced its planned acquisition of Honda’s 26 percent stake for Rs. 38.4 billion in early March. It will receive the capital from two major private equity firms – Bain Capital and Lathe Investment Private Limited.

LVMH looking for Indian market presence through the acquisition of Genesis Colors
L Capital, the PE arm of LVMH, the France-based world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate, is processing its first investment in an Indian entity, as it is in advanced negotiations with the Indian fashion goods retailer Genesis Colors, for stake acquisition.

Owning 125 outlets across India, Genesis Colors has distribution rights for multiple luxury brands in the country, including Just Cavalli, Canali, Kenzo, Paul Smith and Jimmy Choo.

Although L Capital Asia managing partner Ravi Thakran refused to confirm the current development of the acquisition plan, he disclosed the news that L Capital Asia is in negotiations with 10 to 12 middle sized Indian companies for stake acquisitions ranging between 10 percent and 49 percent.

Torrent to strengthen cooperation with AstraZeneca on patented drugs
According to a March 30 report on Times of India, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, the flagship company of the Torrent Group based in Ahmedabad, India, has decided to develop its cooperation with the UK pharmaceutical and biologics company AstraZeneca to the field of clinical trials, co-marketing and developing new molecules, most of which will be in the chronic therapeutic segments such as cardio, diabetology, oncology and psychiatry. If the two parties strike the deal, AstraZeneca will outsource molecules of its patented drugs for sale in developed countries.

The association between the two companies started in 2005, when they agreed to fund a joint research on new drugs for hypertension. In March 2010, the two parties intensified their cooperation, by reaching an agreement for co-marketing generic drugs in emerging markets.

The further cooperation plan has evoked the market’s speculation on a possible Torrent’s stake sale to AstraZeneca. However, a spokesperson of Torrent recently denied the news, claiming “there is no move on the part of the promoters of Torrent Pharma or its management to sell any stake in the company to any players, national or global.”