Lupin eyes acquisitions of up to $1B to expand overseas

Mumbai-based pharma major Lupin Ltd, seen as a conservative drugmaker compared with other domestic peers who have struck at least one mid or large size overseas acquisition, is now looking to come out of its mould. The firm has revived its inorganic expansion drive after a three-year hiatus by snapping two firms since January this year and is now eyeing larger deals to expand overseas.

The firm is on the look-out for deals starting from $50 million and up to $1 billion, Lupin chief executive Vinita Gupta told Bloomberg.

The firm is especially scouting for deals to scale up its presence in European market and is seeking acquisitions opportunities of generic manufacturers. It is on the lookout for companies capable to manufacture complex generics products like injectables, dermatology products and biosimilar drugs, Gupta told the news agency.

European regulation for biosimilars in particular is more clear compared with the US market, which makes it a critical market for any firm engaged in biosimilars internationally.

The company has a large presence in the US, like most Indian drugmakers but unlike its peers draws a small fraction of revenue from Europe.

Besides Europe, Lupin is looking to expand business in other emerging markets like Russia, China and Brazil and may look at so-called transformational deals which straddle several geographies rather than one country.

Lupin had been active in pushing through an inorganic expansion strategy during 2007-09. However, since then it has been focusing on organic growth and did not strike any M&As in 2012 and 2013, as per VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.

However, this changed this year and the firm has already announced two small deals. It signed a deal to acquire Mexico-based Laboratorios Grin S.A. De C.V which marked the company's foray into the high growth Mexican and the larger Lain American pharmaceuticals market.

It also acquired Dutch firm Nanomi B.V which enables it to manufacture complex injectables with innovative drug delivery systems. With the use of Nanomi’s proprietary technology platform, Lupin would be able to make significant inroads into the niche area of complex injectables.

The firm recently roped in Theresa Stevens as chief corporate development officer from Aptalis for its global operations. Theresa is now responsible for global merger and acquisitions (M&A) and speciality business strategy.

Lupin is a developer and producer of a wide range of branded and generic formulations and APIs globally and is a significant player in the cardiovascular, diabetology, asthma, paediatric, CNS, GI, anti-infective and NSAID space and holds global leadership positions in the anti-TB and cephalosporin segment.

For the financial year ended March 31, 2014, Lupin's consolidated net sales was Rs 11,086.6 crore with net profit of Rs 1,836.3 crore.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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