Two critical steps – that’s how California-based Perfect Day described the recent developments around its operations in India. The company has reportedly purchased Sterling Biotech Limited (SBL), a pharmaceutical products manufacturer, which had filed for bankruptcy. According to its website, SBL owns a range of facilities, including fermentation plants and a microbiology laboratory. Through these and other assets, Perfect Day is set to significantly scale-up production.
In addition, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has approved the company’s application for its animal-free milk proteins, opening the door for commercialization in India. In the near-term, Perfect Day will export animal-free protein produced in India to meet global demand while it works on building a roadmap for domestic commercial opportunities.
From Nestlé to N!ck’s, the company has entered partnerships with various dairy and dairy alternatives manufacturers seeking to add non-animal ingredients to food formulations. The California-based firm is part of the growing precision fermentation segment, which according to Markets And Markets is set to expand at staggering 48.1% CAGR annually to reach a valuation of US$36.3bn by 2030 from US$1.6bn in 2022.
“This strategic acquisition stands to vastly expand our ability to make and sell protein while leveraging our robust technology platform across new ingredient opportunities," said Ryan Pandya, CEO and co-founder of Perfect Day. “Our mission is one driven by collaboration, and we look forward to working closely with Sterling Biotech’s existing customers and employees as we continue to expand our investment in India and drive positive change together.”
The deal in detail
Perfect Day paid Rs 638 crore as the winning bidder (around US$7.78bn today), purchasing four ‘high-value’ assets. “Included in this are three manufacturing facilities that will double our protein production while still allowing us to fulfil existing customer commitments, and critical land assets, which we plan to operationalize as we continue to invest in expanding our production capabilities and infrastructure in India,” the company told us. “We are also purchasing Sterling’s existing customers, inventory, bank balance, and everything else.”
The manufacturing facilities include precision fermentation capabilities, with existing fermenters that will allow us to expand production of the company’s protein ‘in the months ahead’. In addition, Perfect Day wants to keep all SBL staff. “The talent associated with this facility is one of the things that makes this acquisition so attractive,” a company spokesperson told DairyReporter. “We plan to retain all existing employees, deepening our investment in this important workforce and adding to the incredible team we are building in India.”
Perfect Day’s team in India will now be based in Gujarat, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, with potential additional states in the future.
The regulatory approval for animal-free milk proteins that the company has also received opens up even more doors to the company, as we were told. “The FSSAI approved our application for our milk proteins in July 2022 after working with the agency for about a year.
“In the near-term, Perfect Day will export beta-lactoglobulin to meet increasing, global customer demands.”
But there’s ‘much more to come’, the company told us. Whether that’s to do with more ingredient innovation – perhaps leveraging some of SPL’s pharma-grade ingredient production facilities – or an expansion of Perfect Day’s enterprise biology innovation arm Nth Bio into Asia remains to be seen.