SMS Lifesciences to acquire API maker Mahi Drugs
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SMS Lifesciences India Ltd, maker of active pharmaceutical ingredients, said on Friday it would acquire Mahi Drugs Pvt. Ltd, which manufactures APIs as well, for an undisclosed amount.

In its meeting, the board of Hyderabad-based SMS Lifesciences has considered the due-diligence report and approved the acquisition, the firm said in a BSE filing on Friday. In its earlier meeting on 8 February, the board had weighed buying the firm.

Visakhapatnam-based Mahi Drugs was incorporated in 2012.

For the December-ended quarter, SMS Lifesciences had reported a 43% fall in net profit year after year, hurt in part by higher expenses. SMS Lifesciences' shares closed up 0.60% to Rs 417.50 a share on BSE on Friday.

Deals in the space

Last year saw over 15 domestic pharmaceutical deals totalling about $798 million and involving Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Piramal Enterprises, and Strides Shashun Ltd, among others, data from VCCEdge, research platform of VCCircle, show.

In November 2017, Piramal Enterprises bought gastro-intestinal brand Digeplex and associated brands from Shreya Lifesciences. The same month, drugmaker Torrent Pharma said it would buy over 120 brands from Unichem Laboratories in India and Nepal. In January, it acquired US-based generic pharmaceuticals company Bio-Pharm, Inc. Earlier, Strides Shasun had agreed to acquire 50% stake each in two subsidiaries of Hyderabad-based Vivimed Labs Ltd.

A bunch of private equity firms are also scouting for opportunities in the Indian pharma sector.

Earlier this month, private equity firm Multiples Alternate Asset Management Pvt. Ltd invested about Rs 300 crore ($47 million) in Natco Pharma Ltd.

Debt-laden Orchid Pharma has elicited interest from drugmakers Strides Shasun and Nectar Lifesciences and private equity major Blackstone, while private equity firm Carlyle Group is the top contender for Juneja family-run Mankind Pharmaceuticals.

In December 2017, Neuland Laboratories Ltd acquired the active pharmaceutical ingredients facility of Arch Pharmalabs Ltd for an undisclosed sum, according to VCCEdge.

In August 2017, Chandigarh-headquartered Scott Edil Pharmacia Ltd acquired the Baddi, Himachal Pradesh facility of Vadodara-based Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquirer plans to use this facility for exporting to emerging countries.

In May 2017, beauty and wellness firm VLCC Health Care Ltd acquired WellScience Health Pvt. Ltd. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction would help VLCC foray into the nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals segments.

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