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July 10, 2008

Profile of pharma-focused dealmaker Mehta Partners

Businessworld has a profile of New York-headquartered Mehta Partners, which served as the "strategic business advisor" to Daiichi on its acquisition of Ranbaxy.
Tarun Shah) represents Mehta Partners, a Wall Street boutique strategic and institutional advisory firm, in India. It is this outfit, known to few people outside the pharma and biotech industry, whose New York and Vadodara teams masterminded the idea of combining Ranbaxy, a generics powerhouse making cut-price copycats, with Daiichi Sankyo, a Japanese innovator company making patented, premium-priced medicines. Mehta Partners were advisors to Daiichi Sankyo.

It is a transaction that is pathbreaking. “This deal has busted three myths,” says Shah. “That innovators will never buy generics, that Indian promoters will never sell (their business), and that the Japanese are slow.”

It all began with an idea. Sometime in October 2007, Viren Mehta, 57, the India-born founder of Mehta Partners flew down from his office in New York to Daiichi’s Tokyo headquarters, accompanied by Shah, to make a simple proposition to the Japanese company’s brass. Would Daiichi Sankyo consider a strategic alliance with Ranbaxy Laboratories?

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the private equity and venture capital ecosystem in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports.