Pfizer may bid for Turkey’s Abdi Ibrahim

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union

Rumours suggest that US drug giant Pfizer is considering a bid for Turkish generics group Abdi Ibrahim as part of its strategy of expanding in emerging markets.

The speculation, which was reported by Reuters'​ M&A blog late on Friday, suggests that Pfizer is looking at Turkey’s largest drugmaker as part of a strategy to grow revenue ahead of the impending loss of patent protection for some of its key branded products.

Despite being Turkey’s largest drugmaker with sales of $850m (€597m) a year, Abdi Ibrahim only has around seven per cent of the country’s drug market, suggesting that any acquisition would be based on the company’s potential rather than its current standing.

Abdi has not commented on the deal and Pfizer spokesperson Ray Kerins told Reuters​ that he would not comment on “rumours​.”

Nevertheless such an acquisition would be in keeping with recent comments by Pfizer execs.

In June Jean-Michel Halfon, head of Pfizer’s emerging markets unit, said the firm wants to add $3bn in annual revenue over the next three years through expansion in key markets like Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Turkey.

Some sort of deal would also fit with broader trends in the pharmaceutical sector, particularly with recent deals made by rivals like Sanofi-Aventis and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to expand in pharmerging markets.

Pfizer gets EU OK for Wyeth deal

In other M&A news, the European Union has cleared Pfizer’s $68bn (€48bn) acquisition of fellow US drug major Wyeth, albeit with a few conditions.

In a statement the EU’s antitrust authorities said that: “In the light of the commitments offered by Pfizer, the Commission has now concluded that the proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it​.”

The European Commission (EC) originally voiced concerns that the takeover would stifle competition in Europe, particularly in the field of animal health. However, provided the US major sells its animal vaccines unit, the commission said it has no problem with the deal.

The merger is still being assessed by US regulators, not to mention Wyeth’s shareholders. Additionally, China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Friday that it is extend its review of the deal by another 30 days.

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