Cipla signs pact to invest $37M for manufacturing unit in Iran with 75% stake

Mumbai-based drug maker Cipla Limited has inked a definitive agreement with its existing Iranian distributor for setting up a manufacturing facility in Iran, according to stock market disclosure.

The Indian firm will invest around Rs 225 crore ($36.5 million) for a 75 per cent stake holding in the proposed unit and its contribution over the next three years will include machinery, equipment and technical know-how.

Generic drugmaker Cipla has been aggressively expanding its reach internationally through acquisitions to increase its market share. As part of its strategy to enhance scale of manufacturing and products, the company has been looking at various strategies of acquisitions and greenfield investments.

Last year the company acquired its distribution partner in South Africa - Cipla Medpro South Africa - Ltd for around $512 million. This was company’s first acquisition in three years. Post that the firm has struck a number of deals.

Last December it acquired Croatia-based Celeris d.O.O, a distributor of its products, for an undisclosed amount.

More recently it acquired 60 per cent stake in an unnamed Sri Lanka-based company for $14 million which would market its products in the country. It also acquired 51 per cent stake in a UAE-based pharmaceutical company which has manufacturing and distribution business in Yemen for $21 million.

Cipla also acquired the remaining 75 per cent stake in biotech firm Mabpharm Private Limited (Mabpharm), which is engaged in development of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of cancer and auto-immune diseases. Cipla already held 25 per cent stake in Mabpharm.

Last month, Cipla, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Medispray Laboratories Private Limited, announced to acquire two manufacturing units of private firms associated with Hamieds, the promoter of Cipla, for Rs 101 crore ($16.7 million).

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