Deals

MPM says the game is afoot in India

mpm-capital-logo-150px.gifMPM Capital, a VC firm headquartered in Boston and South San Francisco, Calif., wants to put Indian life-science firms on notice that it’s comin’ a-huntin’. The VC firm told reporters for VentureWire, Reuters and others that it plans to actively pursue equity investments in privately held Indian healthcare firms over the next six months.

William Greene, a general partner at MPM, said he would like to see the firm make one or two Indian investments over the next six months, each “in the range” of $20 million. MPM would plan on taking stakes of 10 percent to 40 percent in the life-science companies it invests in, Greene said.

Areas of interest for MPM include drug discovery outsourcing, contract research and manufacturing services and medical devices. Greene said he’d also be interested in companies developing novel therapeutics. “India is a highly under-penetrated market for life sciences,” he told reporters.

MPM has already take steps to raise its profile in the subcontinent. In April, the firm announced a partnership with Mumbai-based Reliance Life Sciences (PDF link), in which Reliance invested in MPM’s BioVentures IV fund and will advise MPM as it identifies and invests in emerging Indian life-science companies. Among other things, MPM said it would explore the possibility of establishing a seed fund devoted to India.

Because Yahoo! News stories often succumb to linkrot, the text of the Reuters piece follows the jump.

U.S. fund MPM Capital plans India entry

By Reuters
Wednesday December 5, 06:05 PM

MUMBAI (Reuters) – MPM Capital, a U.S.-based life sciences venture fund, plans to invest in one or two local firms in the next six months marking its India entry, its general partner said on Wednesday.

With more than $2.5 billion committed capital under management, MPM Capital will tap its $550 million Bioventures fund for the India investment, William Greene told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar.

“We are beginning to focus on India and China,” Greene said. “In the next months, I would like to see 1-2 investments in India … about $20 million is the kind of byte size we are looking at.”

MPM would take anywhere between 10-40 percent stakes in the firms and was open to a broad spectrum of life sciences companies, especially those offering discovery outsourcing and contract research and manufacturing services, he said.

“Services in general are pretty interesting. Medical devices sector could be very interesting in the longer term.”

MPM was also open to investing in research and development companies working on developing new molecules, he added.

“My enthusiasm for the opportunity in India is quite big.”

Investments in lifesciences sector in India were low, and he saw a large potential here, he added.

Healthcare and life sciences accounted for about 4.6 percent of the $9 billion investments from venture capital and private equity in India in Jan-Sept, said Arun Natarajan, chief executive officer at Venture Intelligence, a private equity deals tracker.