Aurobindo Pharma to acquire majority stake in Celon Lab’s plant & Silicon Life Sciences

Indian pharma company Aurobindo Pharma Ltd has struck a deal to acquire majority stake in an upcoming manufacturing unit of Celon Laboratories Ltd and also inked a separate deal to buy over 50 per cent in Silicon Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, as per a company disclosure on Monday. 

It is buying 60 per cent of an upcoming manufacturing facility (for hormonal and oncology products) from Celon Labs for Rs 15.6 crore (around $2.5 million). The pharma company has also earmarked Rs 32.3 crore (around $5.31 million) as further investments over the next 12 months to complete the development of the facility and start product development. But it did not clarify whether the additional investment would push up its holding further. 

In a separate deal, Aurobindo’s board approved the acquisition of 57 per cent stake in Silicon Life Sciences that manufactures non-sterile penems. Of the 57 per cent, the company will acquire 49 per cent from the VVR Group and 8 per cent from Trident Chemphar. 

After the acquisition, its holding in Silicon Life Sciences will go up to 75 per cent, making Silicon a subsidiary of the company.

In another development, the company has announced it is considering to spin off its injectable business to a wholly owned subsidiary. The board of the company has constituted a sub-committee, a majority of which consists of independent directors. The sub-committee will evaluate the draft scheme of arrangement and will recommend the final scheme to the board within 60 days. 

Injectable business has become a hot spot for overseas drug-makers, looking to ramp up their presence in India. Earlier this year, Mylan Inc struck a deal to acquire Agila Specialties Pvt Ltd, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of generic injectable products, from Strides Arcolab Ltd for $1.6 billion (Rs 8,600 crore) in cash. 

Aurobindo scrip shot up around 10 per cent and was quoting at Rs 177 a share on the BSE in mid-day trades in a strong Mumbai market on Monday. 

Aurobindo Pharma, which received U.S. FDA approvals for over eight drugs this year, has been eyeing domestic and overseas acquisitions to increase its scale and revenues. It acquired Hyderabad-based contract research firm Trident Life Sciences Ltd for $28.18 million in 2009. Back in 2006, Aurobindo had also acquired four companies – the Netherlands-based generic pharma company Pharmacin International BV, Hyderabad-based APL Life Sciences Ltd and Senor Organics Pvt Ltd, and London-based pharmaceutical manufacturing company Milpharma Ltd. 

The company clocked revenues of Rs 5,855.3 crore for the year ended March 31, 2013. 

Over the past one year, the Indian pharma industry has seen a spate of small deals including Vivimed acquiring Actavis Pharma’s formulations unit for $20.2 million, Mortara Instruments acquiring Cardiac Science Corp for $21 million and Fresenius Kabi acquiring Goa Formulations Ltd for $36.9 million, among others.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

Leave Your Comment(s)