Strides Shasun to buy 51% each in Australian, Kenyan firms

Drugmaker Strides Shasun Ltd said on Monday it will acquire controlling stakes in an Australian and a Kenyan company to strengthen its presence in the two countries.

The Bangalore-based company has agreed to pay AUD 15 million (US$10.6 million) upfront to buy a 51 per cent stake in Australian pharmaceutical and research company Generic Partners Holdings Co Pty Ltd. It has also committed to invest AUD 10 million (US$7.05 million) to fund future R&D, the company said in a stock-exchange filing.

In a separate filing, Strides Shasun said it will acquire a 51 per cent stake in Kenyan drug manufacturing and marketing company Universal Corporation Ltd for an initial payout of $11 million in cash. The deal includes a performance-related payment capped at $3 million for achieving operating profit of $2.95 million for 2015.

The transactions are expected to be closed by June 30 after statutory approvals and customary closing conditions, Strides Shasun said.

In both the companies, the current promoters will continue to hold the remaining stake.

Generic Partners

The acquisition of Generic Partners is being done through Strides Shasun's wholly owned subsidiary Arrow Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd. The deal will make Arrow the second-largest generic pharmaceutical products company in Australia with a portfolio of about 180 molecules.

The deal provides Arrow access to 22 registrations that are pending approval with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and a pipeline of 32 molecules including a host of drugs going off patent in the future.

The management team of Generic Partners led by CEO and managing director Sanjiv Puri will continue to manage the business independently.

Generic Partners had revenue of AUD 38.91 million (US$27.5 million) for the year ended June 2015.

Universal Corporation

The Indian company will make the acquisition through wholly owned subsidiary Strides Pharma (Cyprus) Ltd.

This transaction will help the Indian company gain a foothold in East African markets and will complement its six plants in sub-Saharan Africa.

Universal Corporation, which makes tablets, capsules, creams, ointments and liquids, reported revenue of $22.4 million for the year ended December 2015.

Founded in 1990, Strides Shasun makes tablets, hard- and soft-gelatin capsules, sachets, potent drugs and semi-solids. It has 12 manufacturing facilities across three continents.

In May 2015, Strides Shasun signed a deal to acquire South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare's generic pharmaceutical business in Australia together with certain branded pharma assets. The Indian company had raised about Rs 1,102 crore by selling shares to institutions in December.


Separately, Strides Shasun said it has appointed Shashank Sinha as its CEO.

Sinha, who will take over in March, was previously heading the global flexibles business of Finnish packaging company Huhtamaki Oyj.

The IIM Lucknow alumnus has earlier worked with Godrej Consumer Products, Sara Lee Corporation, Reckitt Benckiser Plc and Navis Capital.

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