Piramal Enterprises Ltd has acquired five over-the-counter brands from global drug giant Merck for Rs 92 crore (about $14 million), as the billionaire Ajay Piramal-led company continues to expand its consumer products business.
The Indian company is acquiring the brands from Organon India Pvt Ltd and MSD BV, it said in a statement.
Merck is known as MSD outside the US and Canada. It operates its human health business in India through three companies — MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, Organon, and Fulford (India) Ltd.
The acquired brands include Naturolax, Lactobacil and Farizym in the gastro-intestinal segment, the statement said.
Nandini Piramal, executive director at Piramal Enterprises, said the brands will help the company achieve its aim of becoming a top-three player in the OTC market by 2020. The company’s consumer products business has grown at 24 per cent over the past six years and is now ranked seventh in India, she added.
The company estimates the size of India’s OTC market at Rs 15,000 crore, growing at 13 per cent to 14 per cent.
Kedar Rajadnye, COO of the consumer products division, said the acquired brands will help improve the company’s profitability.
Piramal Enterprises entered the OTC market with the acquisition of Saridon from Roche Holding AG and Lacto Calamine from Duphar Interfran Ltd in the early 1990s.
In November, the company brand Little’s for an undisclosed amount.
The company launched its consumer products division in 2007. Apart from headache drug Saridon and Lacto Calamine lotion, its portfolio includes the emergency contraceptive i-pill that it purchased from Cipla Ltd in 2010. The division also sells pain-relieving mouth ulcer gel QuikKool, antacid Polycrol, medicated soap Tetmosol, Jungle Magic perfumes as well as dermatology brand Caladryl, acquired from Valeant Pharmaceuticals two years ago.