Deals in brief – December 2018/January 2019

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A consortium of private equity funds formed by Motilal Oswal Private Equity and Invascent bought out the entire stake of private equity investor Actis in drugmaker Symbiotec Pharmalab. The Indore, India-based Symbiotec Pharmalab is one of the largest steroids/hormones companies globally and a leading active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer. Actis had invested US$48 million in Symbiotec in 2013. The incoming private equity investors have committed further primary investments in the company.

L&L Partners advised the promoters of Symbiotec. The L&L team was led by partner William Vivian John along with managing associate Deepak Kumar and associate Tanaya Sanyal.


Sapphire Foods, the South Asian franchisee of Yum! Brands, raised ₹2.25 billion (US$31 million) in equity investment in a round led by Edelweiss Private Equity and existing investor Goldman Sachs. The investors picked up about a 10% stake in this round of investment. Sapphire Foods was founded in September 2015 by a consortium of private equity firms –Samara Capital, Goldman Sachs, CX Partners and IDI Emerging. The company acquired about 250 KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in India and Sri Lanka from multiple franchisees and Yum Restaurants India. In total it operates more than 350 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Goldman Sachs was advised by AZB & Partners. The firm’s team was led by partners Gautam Saha and Amrita Patnaik, and senior associate Punita Gupta, while L&L Partners advised Sapphire Foods, and Economic Laws Practice advised Edelweiss Private equity.


Japanese insurance company Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance picked up an additional 6.2% stake in Indian property and casualty insurer arm Universal Sompo General Insurance (USGI) for more than US$15 million. The deal takes Sompo’s shareholding to 34.6%, making it the single-largest shareholder in the Indian insurer. Sompo, which entered the Indian market through an investment in USGI in 2007, acquired the stake from lender Karnataka Bank following a relaxation in foreign direct investment norms in the insurance sector.

The company was set up as a joint venture between state-owned Allahabad Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, privately held Karnataka Bank and Dabur Investment Corp. AZB & Partners advised Sompo Japan Nipponkoa. The team was led by partners Rajendra Barot and Arvind Ramesh, and included senior associate Rishikesh Desai and associate Muqeet Drabu.


The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has held that the corporate insolvency resolution process (CIRP) of a subsidiary company shall continue regardless of the ongoing CIRP of its parent company. The tribunal, in the matter of Alok Infrastructure, held that the subsidiary and its parent, Alok Industries, which has been undergoing a CIRP since July 2017, are, in the view of the principles of company law, two different entities and accordingly the CIRP of both entities will not result in difficulties or overlaps.

Alok Industries had filed this appeal and argued that the CIRP of the subsidiary company, which was initiated in October 2018, would scuttle the CIRP of the parent company. A Trilegal team comprising Padmaja Kaul, Yugank Goel, Aishwarya Choudhary and Krishnendu Datta represented Alok Infrastructure.


Bengaluru-based meat and seafood delivery start-up Delightful Gourmet raised about US$25 million in Series D funding led by Japanese frozen food and food logistics company Nichirei Corporation. Delicious, which operates the website and app Licious, also received funding from investors Bertelsmann, Vertex Ventures, Sistema Asia Fund, 3One4 Capital and UCLA Investment Company. The company will use the funds to expand its presence to more Indian cities. Khaitan & Co advised Nichrei Corporation and with a team comprising partner Vineet Shinga, principal associate Tanushree Bhuwalka and associates Srikanth Mantravadi and Rimjhim Khandelwal. Counsel Shailendra Bhandare and associate Sourav Dan advised on IP-related aspects, while senior associate Sneha Oak Joshi and associate Swaraj Singh Narula advised on property related aspects. Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu was the Japanese counsel for Nichirei.


Indiabulls Real Estate sold an up to 50% stake in two office assets in Udyog Vihar, Gurugram at an aggregate enterprise value of approximately ₹4.64 billion (US$65 million) to private equity firm The Blackstone Group. The two office assets in Gurugram have a joint 800,000 square feet of leasable area. Mumbai-based Indiabulls last year sold a 50% stake in its prime office properties in Mumbai and Chennai to the US-based private equity company.

J Sagar Associates advised Indbiabulls Real Estate. It was led by partner Lalit Kumar and included principal associate Bharat Bhushan Sharma and associate Amandeep Singh Virk. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co advised Blackstone.