Navis-backed Vietnam’s OPV Pharma up for sale as founder family, investor seek exit

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Navis Capital-backed Vietnamese drug producer OPV Pharmaceuticals JSC is said to be on the block with its shareholders targeting a 100% share sale, DealStreetAsia has learned.

Malaysia-based private equity firm Navis Capital Partners is understood to hold a 65% stake in the firm with the founding family of the company’s chairman Nguyen Cao Thang owning the rest.

OPV Pharmaceuticals is said to command an enterprise value of around $25 million in this stake sale process. The company’s annual revenue is around $9-10 million while it has reached a breakeven at the  EBITDA level.

In the third quarter of 2020, the shareholders appointed BDA Partners to run the process, multiple sources told DealStreetAsia.

The company is said to have attracted interest both from strategic players as well as financial investors from Asian countries, according to one of the sources.

DealStreetAsia has yet to receive comments from Navis and OPV Pharma on the development.

Navis Capital had previously, in 2017, attempted to run a stake sale process for OPV Pharmaceuticals. The PE firm is said to have appointed TC Capital as a sell-side advisor back then but the process was discontinued, the sources mentioned above said.

The PE firm invested in the drug manufacturer back in September 2012. OPV Pharmaceuticals issued an undisclosed amount of new shares for a substantial capital injection by Navis Capital, which was coupled with a rollover of shares by the founding family.

Founded in 1950, OPV Pharmaceuticals started as a retail pharmacy in Hue, Central Vietnam, according to its website. In 2003, the company built a WHO-GMP-compliant pharma factory in Vietnam. In the same year, OPV also set up a joint venture with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company from Japan for the manufacturing and distribution of intravenous solutions.

OPV Pharmaceuticals produces OTC brands as well as prescription drugs and is also a contract manufacturer, according to its website. The company has had a long history of partnering with multinational pharma companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, Johnson & Johnson, and MSD.

Navis manages approximately $5 billion in public and private equity capital and focuses on investments primarily in and around Asia. In August last year, DealStreetAsia reported that Navis, which is in the process of raising its eighth fund, is said to have extended the fundraising to April. The firm is seeking up to $1.9 billion for Navis VIII.

Navis Capital has also been actively exploring exits from its investments and has also sealed several divestments in recent months.

Bloomberg reported last month that Navis Capital was exploring a sale of Malaysian premium supermarket chains The Food Purveyor, which could be worth about 1 billion ringgit ($247 million).

In March this year, Malaysian conglomerate PPB Group’s cinema arm Golden Screen Cinemas said it is acquiring the majority of the cinema assets of MBO cinemas, which is currently undergoing a voluntary winding up in the hands of creditors. Navis Capital Partners owns a 92.74% stake in MCAT Box Office, the operator of the cinemas.

Among other exits, Australian buyout major Pacific Equity Partners said, in September 2020, it was acquiring educational resources supplier  Modern Star from Malaysia-headquartered private equity firm Navis Capital for an enterprise value of $600 million. Prior to that, Navis Capital reportedly sold its entire stake in Malaysian IT firm Strateq to a unit of Singapore-listed telecommunications company StarHub.

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.