M&A movement in India with three top firms

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dr reddy, Generic drug, Ranbaxy laboratories

Three of India´s large pharmaceutical manufacturers, Dr Reddy's,
Ranbaxy Laboratories and Shilpa Medicare have just announced new
merger and acquisition (M&A) deals.

M&A activity in the pharma industry involving Indian players has been recently becoming more commonplace as the country´s large firms begin to push hard for a more global presence. Dr Reddy's thinks small ​ Dr Reddy's has revealed it is boosting its contract manufacturing business with the purchase of US firm Dow Chemical's small molecules business. The acquired unit operates out of Dowpharma´s UK sites at Mirfield and Cambridge. Together they employ 80 staff and are said to be worth $25m. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed except that that it is expected to be finalised at the end of this month. In addition to gaining the sites along with their customer contracts, products, process technologies, intellectual property and trademarks, Dr Reddy´s will also obtain a non-exclusive license to Dow's Pf​enex Expression Technology for biocatalysis development. Commenting on the deal, Satish Reddy, managing director and COO of Dr Reddy's said; "The proprietary chiral and biocatalysis technology at the Cambridge site and the scale-up capability in the Mirfield site will add significant value to the company​." "This acquisition will also bring strengths in industrial synthesis of complex prostaglandins and carbohydrate chemistry​." The additional capabilities in the firm´s custom pharmaceutical services business will also help the company "partly offset its fluctuating earnings from selling generic drugs in the US and Europe​," it was reported in the Times of India. Ranbaxy offloads liquids​ Meanwhile, one or Dr. Reddy´s larger rivals, Ranbaxy, has announced that it is hiving off the oral liquid manufacturing unit of its Romanian subsidiary, Terapia, located in Bucharest. The company is reportedly in talks with several global pharma companies who may be looking to purchase the business, which is said to be worth $15-20m, and it is expected that a deal with be closed by the end of this quarter. Although the business is profitable, liquid manufacturing is not a core focus of Ranbaxy and the firm acquired the unit when it bought Terapia in 2006 for $324m. According to India´s Economic Times, the intended sale is part of a "rationalisation" move being made by Ranbaxy to expand its manufacturing operations at its main Romanian facility in Kluez. The country has been identified by the firm as a key location from which to tap into the European generics market and it plans to step up its activities in this regard. Shilpa adds Austrian APIs​ The third M&A announcement this week comes from Shilpa Medicare Ltd, who has revealed the purchase of LOBA Feinchemie, an Austrian company based in Vienna. The newly-acquired business provides specialty active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), organic intermediates, biochemical diagnostics, and custom synthesis for the global pharma industry and its facility is approved by the Austrian Ministry of Health and the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). In addition to obtaining better access to the highly-regulated markets of the US and Europe, Shilpa also gains a new foothold in the South Korean market where two of LOBA´s products, gemcitabine HCl and ambroxol HCl, have just been approved for sale. Shilpa is India´s largest API producer and currently also provides, fine and specialty chemicals, intermediates, bulk drugs, as well as oncology products, to locations across the globe.

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