Sanofi subsidiary to acquire Mumbai-based Dosch Pharma’s animal health division

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi S.A.’s animal health division Merial is acquiring the animal health unit of Mumbai-headquartered Dosch Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition, which will include the product portfolio of Dosch’s animal health division, its 279-member team and the pan-India sales network, marks the entry of Merial in the country’s growing animal health sector.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by June 2013.

Shares of Sanofi India were trading at Rs 2,325 a unit at 3.19 pm, up 1.09 per cent in a weak Mumbai market on Friday.

Currently, Dosch’s animal health division is led by Dr Sharat Tugnait. Post transaction, the unit will be integrated with the Sanofi entity and the current management team will continue to run the business operations.

Ambit Corporate Finance acted as the financial advisors to Dosch on this transaction.

Founded in 1987, Dosch is a diversified pharmaceutical company operating through two business divisions – animal health and drug exports. The animal health division has over 86 products under 50 brands for ruminants, poultry and companion animals, including a wide range of animal health therapeutics and nutritional feed supplements.

“Strong nationwide sales, marketing and distribution network of Dosch, along with established products and people, will be an ideal platform for Merial to enter the fast-developing animal health market of India. Merial’s entry will further strengthen the existing offering of Dosch’s animal health business and provide a larger canvas for the market and the Dosch team. This transaction will provide an opportunity to introduce a larger range of products to the industry,” said Sanjay Doshi, chairman and MD of Dosch.

Merial provides a comprehensive range of animal health products and last year, the company’s sales reached over €2 billion.

“The acquisition of Dosch’s animal health division will be a significant milestone for Merial and gives us a strategic platform for our development in the Indian market. We are convinced that the combination of Dosch’s animal health brands and distribution strength, along with the robust new product pipelines from both Merial and Dosch, will strongly position Merial to become a major animal health player in India,” said Jose Barella, CEO of Merial.

Sanofi has been quite aggressive in terms of making strategic acquisitions in India. In 2009, the Sanofi-Aventis group (formed in 2004 when Sanofi-Synthélabo acquired Aventis Pharma) acquired 80 per cent stake in Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Shantha Biotechnics Ltd from BioMerieux SA, for $625.18 million, to enter the domestic vaccine market in a big way. This was followed by the acquisition of the nutrition business of Universal Medicare Pvt Ltd in 2011, aimed to strengthen its nutrition and consumer health business.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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