December quarter earnings of pharmaceutical companies may see incremental improvement helped by a favourable base and steady domestic business. But if the drug approvals trend in the US is anything to go by, pricing pressure in the key market is unlikely to abate anytime soon. As approval rates gathered pace and increased competition eroded prices, earnings of domestic pharmaceutical firms came under pressure, forcing reorganization of their US businesses. With new business lines yet to acquire scale, the generic drugs business remains core to the companies’ earnings. On the positive side, competition and price erosion have triggered a rethink among firms.
Delhi-based diversified financial services DMI Group has raised $230 mn (Rs.1,619.4 Cr) in a fresh funding round led by New Investment Solutions, an asset management company. The company plans to use the fresh funds to fund balance sheet growth of DMI Finance and DMI Housing Finance.
Continuing its acquisition spree to expand its financial services offering, US-based technology firm Ebix, Inc has acquired Essel Forex Ltd and Weizmann Forex Ltd. Upon completion of the acquisitions, Essel and Weizmann Forex will be integrated into the EbixCash World Money business in India. The acquisitions are targeted at positioning EbixCash as the largest financial exchange in the country.
India’s largest liquor company United Spirits Ltd (USL) has agreed to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary Four Seasons Wines Ltd and associated brands to Grover Zampa Vineyards Ltd, the country’s second-largest winemaker in terms of volumes. The shares will be sold to Grover Zampa and Quintela Assets Ltd, an existing investor in Grover Zampa, for Rs 31.86 crore.
Chennai-based fresh produce distrubution startup WayCool has raised Rs 120 crore in both equity and debt led by Lightstone, the investment arm of European impact fund LGT Impact. The investment comes on the back of increased interest in India’s agri-tech space from both global and local fund houses. The funding is part of an ongoing Rs 200-220 crore Series-B round that WayCool is looking to raise which also saw participation from angel investors and institutional lenders such as Northern Arc Capital and Caspian. The company said around 75% of the capital raised is in equity, while the rest is in debt.
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