Sanofi India to sell nutraceuticals’ biz to Kedaara backed Universal Nutriscience
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Sanofi India Ltd, local unit of the French drugmaker, on Wednesday said it has received board approval to sell its nutraceuticals business to Universal Nutriscience Pvt Ltd for Rs 587 crore ($78.9 million). 

As part of the transaction, 16 nutraceutical brands in the portfolio will be transferred to Universal Nutriscience, said Sanofi India in a statement. 

Universal Nutriscience is a strategic partnership between homegrown private equity firm Kedaara Capital and nutraceuticals firm Universal Medicare. 

"Following a strategic review of its portfolio, the company believes that the potential of the Nutraceuticals range would be maximised in an organisation, which can provide deep category understanding and continuous innovation required to win in this specialised area," said Rajaram Narayanan, managing director of Sanofi India. 

All employees who are associated with Sanofi India's nutraceuticals business will also be transitioned to Universal Nutriscience, he added. 

The deal is expected to be completed within the next three months. 

"We are committed to building a focused nutraceuticals business backed by three decades of experience in R&D and manufacturing to provide end-to-end scientifically backed products and services," said Nishant Sharma, investment chief and managing partner, Kedaara Capital. 

Sanofi has built its India business via multiple acquisitions. It 2009, it acquired vaccine maker Shantha Biotech and later in 2011, it bought the over-the-counter business of Mumbai-based Universal Medicare Ltd for its branded nutraceuticals formulations.  

A February 2021 media report by Pharma Intelligence said that globally Sanofi is looking to offload 150 over-the-counter brands as part of a radical overhaul of its consumer healthcare operation. 

In March, Sanofi sold an integrated portfolio of its anti-inflammatory drugs to Italian drug maker Fidia Farmaceutici. At that point, the drugmaker said that the “transaction continues Sanofi’s ongoing strategic transformation by simplifying its portfolio and streamlining to enhance profitability”. 

The new head of business Julie Van Ongevalle has unveiled a wide-ranging turnaround plan with the goal of transforming Sanofi into an OTC market leader, the report added. 

In late 2019, Sanofi announced the sale of a manufacturing unit in Gujarat’s Ankleshwar to Advent International-backed Zentiva Pvt Ltd for Rs 261.7 crore (about $36.53 million) in a slump sale. 

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