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Drugmaker Granules India sells entire stake in Chinese JV
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Hyderabad-based drugmaker Granules India Ltd has sold its stake in its Chinese joint venture to its local partner, more than a decade after it entered the Asian country.

Granules said in a stock-exchange filing on Tuesday it sold the stake in Granules-Biocause Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd to Hubei Biocause Heilen Pharmaceutical for RMB 109 million ($15.6 million).

The company had formed the joint venture in 2007. It exited China mainly due to environmental issues, Granules had said in December last year without disclosing any details.

Granules India, founded in 1984 makes bulk drugs, finished dosages, and pharmaceuticals formulations intermediates. Its core molecules are paracetamol, ibuprofen, metformin, guaifenesin, and methocarbamol. It also has a contract research and manufacturing segment, according to its website.

VCCircle reported in November last year that the promoters of Granules India have initiated talks that may see them sell shares to pave way for a new controlling shareholder. The promoters, led by Krishna Prasad Chigurupati, hold 42.9% stake.

The Hyderabad-based company's exit from China comes when some Indian drugmakers have made a renewed push or entering the country.

In July last year, Cipla formed a JV with Chinese firm Jiangsu Acebright Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd to make a fresh push into the neighbouring country.

Strides Pharma Science Ltd entered China by forming a JV with Sun Moral International Ltd, a wholly-owned unit of Chinese firm Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group Ltd in the same month last year.

China is the second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world with a $137 billion market opportunity, according to a report by healthcare consulting firm IQVIA.

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