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Carlyle buys 20% stake in Piramal Pharma businesses

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(Reuters) - U.S.-based Carlyle Group Inc CG.O has agreed to buy a 20% stake in the pharmaceutical unit of Indian conglomerate Piramal Enterprises Ltd PIRA.NS for about $490 million, the companies said in a statement on Saturday.

Piramal Pharma will use the capital injection to accelerate its organic and inorganic growth plans, the statement said.

The investment comes a month after the private equity firm bought a majority stake in Indian animal healthcare company SeQuent Scientific Ltd SEQU.NS.

“India is a hugely strategic part of Carlyle’s Asia business, and a market where we continue to see many attractive investment opportunities,” Greg Zeluck, Co-Head of Carlyle Asia Partners advisory team said.

Earlier this month, India's Economic Times reported that Carlyle had emerged as the frontrunner to grab a minority stake in the pharma unit of business mogul Ajay Piramal, with U.S. private equity firms TA Associates and KKR & Co Inc KKR.N also submitting offers for the 20% stake.

The transaction is expected to close in 2020.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard and Richard Pullin