US investment firm KKR has bought a minority stake in Indian generics firm Gland Pharma for $200 million.

KKR's purchase includes the entire stake held by Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund and The Economic Times newspaper reports that the company now controls about 35% of Gland which develops generic injectables primarily for the US market. It is best-known for its heparin products.

The investment represents the largest by a private equity company into an Indian drugmaker. KKR India chief executive Sanjay Nayar noted that Gland has "a track record of strong financial performance as well as long-standing relationships with Indian and international pharmaceutical companies and we believe there is significant potential for it to grow these partnerships even further".

The Mumbai-headquarterted firm's founder and chairman PVN Raju said Gland Pharma is at "an important juncture in its evolution where we have proven our sterile manufacturing capabilities, established ourselves as a high-quality manufacturer of complicated injectables products and achieved a track-record of strong financial performance". The partnership with KKR "will help us in our next phase of growth as we look to materially expand our manufacturing capacities and invest more in our development work".

As for KKR, it has put in more than $1 billion in private equity in India since 2006. It has also invested in firms such as HCA, Accellent, Ambea, Biomet, China Cord Blood Corp, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and PRA International and recently announced plans to invest in Panasonic Healthcare (Japan).