Aventis Pharma Ltd, a unit of the $44 billion French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis, has completed the acquisition of Universal Medicare Pvt Ltd’s marketing and distribution business of branded nutraceutical formulations in India for Rs 567 crore($114 million), the company disclosed in a statement to Bombay Stock Exchange today.

Earlier, in August 2011, the company had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Universal Medicare and informed the deal transaction would be complete by the fourth quarter of 2011. Although the company had not shared the transaction value then media reports had pegged the deal size to be around Rs 450 crore-Rs 500 crore for the business.

Aventis Pharma Ltd has now informed BSE that the transaction was closed on November 3, 2011 on fulfillment of all the conditions precedent.

On Bombay Stock Exchange, shares of Aventis Pharma closed flat at Rs 2,350 on Friday.

Mumbai-based Universal Medicare manufactures, markets and distributes branded nutraceutical formulations. The business had a turnover of Rs 110 crore for FY11. Universal’s portfolio of more than 40 brands includes nutraceutical products in categories like antioxidants, vitamins and mineral supplements, anti-arthritics, anti-osteoporotics, liver tonics and other nutrients.

Around 750 employees of Universal will also transition to Aventis Pharma as a part of this deal. Universal Medicare, which is mainly into marketing of formulations, will continue to manufacture the products being acquired by Aventis.

The group started operations by marketing the UK-based Seven Seas’ cod liver oil in India and over time, built its own product portfolio focused on the nutraceutical and lifestyle segments. It has two manufacturing facilities – one at Sarigam (Gujarat) and the other located in Bengaluru (Karnataka).

Earlier, French food products giant Danone said that it was acquiring the nutrition business of the Wockhardt Group for $355 million or Rs 1,580 crore to enter the Indian baby nutrition and medical nutrition market.

Of the global nutraceutical market of $117 billion Indian has less than 1 per cent share and is estimated to be around Rs 4,400 crore in size, according to a 2009 report by Ernst & Young.

Aventis Pharma Limited, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells pharmaceutical products in India and also exports its products to Commonwealth of Independent States, Sri Lanka, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The company, formerly known as Hoechst Marion Roussel Limited, was incorporated in 1956 and is based in Mumbai, India. Aventis Pharma Limited is a subsidiary of Hoechst GmbH.

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Aventis Buys Nutraceutical Business Of Universal Medicare

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