Baring PE Asia to pick up 60-65% stake in Indira IVF


Mumbai: Asia-focused private equity fund Baring PE Asia EQT (BPEA EQT) will acquire 60-65% of Indira IVF for $650-700 million, the largest provider of fertility services in India and in the top five globally in terms of annual in vitro fertilisation (IVF) cycles.

The deal was signed before other contenders could submit binding offers by this week’s deadline, said people directly involved in the matter. The chain has been valued at $1.1 billion (₹9,000 crore), they said. BPEA EQT has paid a premium of about 22 times Indira IVF’s ebitda. Indira IVF posted revenue of ₹1,250 crore in FY23 at an ebitda of ₹375-400 crore, said people aware of the matter.

Global investors such as BPEA EQT and Blackstone had submitted non-binding bids to acquire a majority stake, valuing the chain at $1-1.2 billion, ET was first to report on June 6.

The investor is likely to end up with a stake of about 60%, with existing investor TA Associates selling its 47% holding and the promoters diluting additional stakes, ET had reported. The other contenders were GA and CVC Capital.

TA Associates had acquired about 35% in the company in 2019 for ₹1,100 crore, and an additional 12% later. TA will reap a fourfold return on its investment in rupee terms based on the numbers above.

BPEA EQT, an active investor in the Indian healthcare space, is also in advanced negotiations to acquire a minority stake in Hyderabad-based Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) Hospitals from Quadria Capital.

In India, BPEA EQT owns healthcare-focussed business process management company Sagility LLC (formerly Hinduja Global Solutions Healthcare LLC), acquired in 2021 for ₹7,500 crore ($1 billion).


‘Heightened Deal Activity’
It also owns healthcare analytics company CitiusTech, acquired from PE firm General Atlantic (GA) and the founders in yet another billion-dollar deal.

Since 1998, BPEA EQT has deployed $5.5 billion in India in companies like Mphasis, Hexaware, CitiusTech, VFS and RBL Bank among others.

India’s IVF market is worth a potential $12 billion, expanding at 20% CAGR, according to industry estimates.

About 25% of India’s IVF market is controlled by the top 10-15 clinics and the rest by unorganised firms. The major providers in India are Indira IVF, Nova IVI, Oasis IVF, Bloom Fertility Centre, Bengaluru-based Milann, Morpheus IVF, Ridge IVF, Akanksha IVF and Bourn Hall Clinic.

“We see strong potential in further expanding India IVF’s presence across India and entering adjacent markets, while continuing to invest in its R&D capabilities and technology, drawing on EQT’s in-house expertise within healthcare and digitalization,” said Ashish Agrawal, partner at BPEA EQT.

Indira IVF was founded by Dr Ajay Murdia in 1988 and expanded from a single clinic to a nation-wide network spanning 116 centres in 20 states in India. The company is the market leader in assisted reproductive technology (ART) services in India and completes approximately 40,000 IVF cycles annually.

“The industry is seeing heightened deal activity in the single speciality space across IVF, eye care, oncology and dental businesses,” said a Mumbai-based investment banker. “Profitable and good-returns business models are emerging in these segments, where the patients can be offered focused and high clinical quality services at affordable costs.”

The IVF industry in India is witnessing consolidation as private equity funds are getting aggressive with acquisitions.

Homegrown PE fund Kedaara Capital owns a minority holding in Oasis Fertility, while Brussels-based fund Verlinvest has a controlling stake in Ferty9, a premier chain of fertility clinics in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

India is one of the fastest growing markets globally for assisted reproductive technology services and is significantly less served than more developed markets. Infertility rates in India are estimated at 15% and expected to rise, driven by lifestyle issues, such as poor diet, stress and pollution.


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