Daiichi to acquire majority stake in Ranbaxy

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Generic drug, Ranbaxy laboratories

Japanese pharmaceutical firm Daiichi Sankyo is set to acquire a
majority stake in Ranbaxy Laboratories, in the biggest takeover
deal of an Indian pharmaceutical firm by an international company.

The transaction is expected to cost Daiichi between $3.4bn and $4.6bn, with the company buying Ranbaxy founders Malvinder and Shivinder Singh's 34.8 per cent stake before acquiring a further 20 per cent from ordinary shareholders. The deal represents a milestone in the development of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, with its companies now attractive to major players on the international stage. Ranbaxy CEO Malvinder Singh said: "I am delighted to announce our association with Daiichi Sankyo that puts us on a new and much stronger platform to harness our capabilities in drug development, manufacturing and global reach​. "This is a significant milestone in our mission of becoming a research based international pharmaceutical company​." Earlier this year PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) warned the pharmaceutical establishment that some Asian companies were seeking to become major players in the industry. This ambition has been evident at Ranbaxy from a long time before the PwC report, with the company outlining its desire to be "a research based international pharmaceutical company​" as far back as 1993. Ranbaxy's has established itself among the top 10 generics companies in the world and this is thought to have attracted Daiichi, which has instantly moved to a seat at the top table of the sector. Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Investment Management, said: "There's a global move to generics and Japan's a bit behind on this. India is a large market but even more important is the fact that Ranbaxy operates in a number of other countries. That's the real merit​." As more companies from emerging markets establish global operations they are likely to become increasingly attractive to major pharmaceutical firms, which can gain an instant foothold in a range of markets through the acquisition. In the Ranbaxy deal the international nature of both companies raises questions over the future of their respective facilities. Details regarding the fates of the companies' respective manufacturing and R&D sites are currently thin on the ground although they have stated a desire to optimize usage, "especially in India​".

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