What does Rakesh Jhunjhunwala see in Jubilant Life Sciences?

Within a year, the investing legend has doubled down on his latest pharma bet

Back when Indian IT companies were the rage, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was gaining fame for his investments in ‘old economy’ businesses. One of them was his bet on pharma major Lupin, in which he had picked up 1% stake (500,000 shares) in December 2002. That he was enamoured by the Mumbai-based company was evident in the way he ramped up his holding in the subsequent four quarters to 4.25%, by December 2003. His second big pharma bet was in 2013 when he entered Aurobindo Pharma, which was trading at an average price of Rs.150 in the December quarter.


Both investments paid off — while he exited Aurobindo in December 2017 when the stock was trading at an average price of Rs.780, and made boatloads of money in Lupin, his residual stake is still worth Rs.6 billion today. After more than a decade, Jhunjhunwala has once again scooped up another pharma stock, the Rs.91-billion New Delhi-based Jubilant Life Sciences (JLS). While he entered the stock in 2017, it was followed by some offloading, which kept his stake under 1%. But since last year, he has almost tripled his stake from 1.63% in March 2019 to 4.41% as of March 2020 (See: Show of faith). So, why is the ace investor hot on JLS?


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