The Poonawalla family withdrew from a billion-dollar deal in October 2020, citing a higher valuation for Serum Institute of India than that proposed by a number of prominent investors. According to the Hindustan Times, Poonawallas turned down an offer from a group of private equity firms including TPG Capital, Abu Dhabi's ADQ, and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) due to valuation disagreements.
"The Poonawalla family sought a $10 billion valuation for its new subsidiary under which the commercial interests of SII's upcoming vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, was to be housed. However, they changed their mind and refused the equity infusion," a source told the publication.
The decision to keep a stake in SII may have been motivated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's assistance. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave the Pune-based vaccine maker $150 million in September 2020 to help finance an additional 10 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries.
SII has signed agreements to develop and manufacture COVID-19 vaccines with a number of pharmaceutical firms, including AstraZeneca and Novavax. According to CEO Adar Poonawalla, India's coronavirus vaccine shortage will last until July. He predicted that the shortage would last until July, when production would rise from 60-70 million doses per month to 100 million doses per month.