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PharmEasy buys controlling stake in Aknamed for Rs 308 crore

PharmEasy’s parent company, API Holdings, has acquired a controlling stake in healthcare Bengaluru-based supply chain startup Aknamed for an initial investment of Rs 308 crore.

PharmEasy and Aknamed logo on square card

Illustration: TechStory × Freepik (CosmoStudio)

This is PharmEasy’s second acquisition of 2021. The Epharmacy Unicorn earlier this year acquired a 66.1 percent stake in publicly listed Thyrocare Technologies, the diagnostics company, marking as the first acquisition of a publicly listed company by an Indian unicorn.

According to regulatory filings, Aknamed has approved the issue of 975,937 equity shares at Rs 3,155.94 to API Holdings in order to secure Rs 308 crore (about $42 million) from PharmEasy’s parent company. PharmEasy was been in talks to purchase Aknamed for some time, according to sources familiar with the matter. The inflow of funds appears to be the start of the same. The acquisition is likely to be completed in the following weeks.

Interestingly, PharmEasy has acquired the whole ownership of Aknamed’s five promoters (co-founders), who combined owned 50.67 percent of the company. Aknamed will become a subsidiary of API Holdings Private Limited (PharmEasy’s holding company) following this acquisition.

PharmEasy paid roughly Rs 308 crore) for Aknamed cofounders and angel investors’ holdings in the secondary transaction. Following the fresh share issuance, PharmEasy now owns 67.3 percent of Aknamed, followed by Lightstone Fund with 31.3 percent.

According to the sources, all of Aknamed’s founders would obtain shares in PharmEasy’s parent company API Holdings as well as additional stock options. The transaction comes ahead of API Holdings’ planned Initial Public Offering, which is expected to file its draft IPO papers next month.

Aknamed, founded in 2018 by Saurabh Pandey and Mahadevan Narayanamoni, uses technology to provide procurement services to hospital chains and mid-sized individual hospitals. Mayank Kapoor, Shaunak Joshi, and Varun Vohra were later designated as cofounders.

The company seeks to use scale, data, and technology to transform hospitals’ procurement operations into strategic functions, hence assisting procurement and SCM teams in becoming more efficient. According to data platform Tofler, the company recorded a revenue of Rs 24 crore in the financial year 2020, with a total loss of Rs 3.4 crore.

Aknamed currently has 16 physical facilities across the country and is planning to expand to more than 30 locations in the coming months. The company claims to have a catalog of over 10,000 products, including vaccines and other cold-chain medicines, across surgical and generic / specialty pharmaceuticals.

Aknamed acquired Vardhman Health Specialties, which was founded in 1988, for $35 million earlier this year in order to expand its operations. The company received $7 million in Series A funding from Lighrock (formerly LGT Lightstone Aspada) in April 2020, just as the first wave of COVID-19 was causing chaos across India.

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