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The Singhs, who last week completed their Rs 10,000 crore Ranbaxy-sell-off with Japanese pharma company Daiichi Sankyo and also bought out Lotus Mutual Fund, is now focusing on acquisitions for their diagnostics business. The Singh brothers promoted Super Religare Labs, previously SRL Ranbaxy, has acquired Dubai-based diagnostic lab Mena Healthcare for $20 million. The acquisition of Mena Healthcare will help SRL expand its globally.

Religare Wellness, its drug retail arm, is also reported to be close to acquiring Bangalore-based pharma chain LifeKen Medicines for Rs 6 crore. In a bid to further expand its pharma retail empire, Religare Wellness has also announced tie-ups with Reliance Retail and LM 365 to set stores in their chains. Religare Wellness will set up shop-in-shop in 28 LM 365 stores and 12 Reliance Retail stores in Delhi, reports Economic Times.

Religare Wellness, previously called Fortis Healthworld, acquired a 90% stake in Delhi-based pharma chain CRS Health for Rs 15 crore in August and was planning to expand south subsequently. LifeKen is owned by Lifetime Healthcare Pvt. Ltd, which also acquired Pills & Powder chain in Bangalore in 2006. Lifetime has reported losses of Rs 12 crore since it was launhced in 2005, reports Mint. This seems to be another distressed acquisition for the Singhs, who also acquired troubled Lotus Mutual Fund last week.

The Singhs are also expanding their hospital chain business and Fortis Healthcare is in talks to acquire several other hospitals. Pharma retailing is a big and highly unorganised market. The size of the market is expected to be Rs 33,000  crore and even overseas players are this market. Apollo Pharmacy is one of the biggest players in this segmenjt with 740 stores across the country.

The promoters of Apollo have recently sold off their stake in financial services arm Apollo Sindhoori to Aditya Birla for $46 million, and are now focusing to expand their hospitals and drug retail business.

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