GVK plots a $16.5M Indian expansion as it dials up its global presence

Indian CRO GVK Biosciences is looking to boost its capabilities in contract manufacturing, planning to build a new plant in its home country while stretching its presence abroad.

According to local reports, GVK plans to spend 100 crore rupees ($16.5 million) to build an API-producing plant in the southeastern city of Vizag. The CRO's planned facility will occupy about 10 acres of land and take two years to complete, The Economic Times reports, eventually hosting a capacity of roughly 200,000 liters. GVK gets less than 40% of its revenue from manufacturing, India's LiveMint notes, and CEO Manni Kantipudi said his company is looking to grow that number.

Meanwhile, the fast-expanding CRO has transitioned from a local player into an international force, making its way into the U.S. and biologics development last month with a buyout of California's Aragen Bioscience. Among the CRO's clients are Astellas, Bayer, Endo Health Solutions ($ENDP), Onconova ($ONTX) and the FDA.

With that growth have come rumors of M&A or perhaps an IPO. Earlier this month, The Economic Times reported that GVK investor Sequoia Capital, which owns a minority stake in the company, was looking to cash out for an estimated $50 million. Kantipudi, however, said there's no truth to that report, adding that his company is well-situated with little need to raise more cash or enter the public markets.

Kantipudi told reporters that GVK, which doesn't disclose its financial details, boosted revenue 40% in the fourth quarter of 2013, and the CEO expects to keep growing.

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