AstraZeneca Pharma India board approves delisting offer

The board of directors of AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd, the domestic-listed arm of British-Swedish drug maker, has approved voluntary open offer to delist the company, according to a stock market disclosure.

“The delisting proposal received from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB, Sweden, the promoter of the company, was considered and approved by the board of the company at its meeting held on March 15, 2014,” the stock exchange announcement said.

The proposal was first made by promoter of the company earlier in March which led prices of company’s shares to go up by 20 per cent. The board of the company, however, asked for more information on foreign parent’s voluntary delisting offer till which time it deferred its decision.

“After discussion, it was decided to seek additional information from the promoter—AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB, Sweden. Pending receipt of such additional information, consideration of the promoter's letter dated March 1, 2014 was deferred,” the company announced earlier.

At present, AstraZeneca owns 75 per cent of the total paid-up share capital of AstraZeneca Pharma. According to current market price, the promoter company could invest around Rs 694 crore ($112 million) to buy 25 per cent stake.

In another big open offer, which started last month, global drug maker GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) is looking to raise its holding in its Indian pharma arm GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd from 50.7 per cent to 75 per cent in what may cost it up to Rs 6,386 crore or a little over $1 billion.

The shares of the company jumped by around 3 per cent on Tuesday, when the scrip of the company closed at Rs 1,192, compared with around Rs 1,159 on Monday. The share of the company went as high as Rs 1,249 on Tuesday.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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