Sun Pharma to acquire majority stake in Russia’s Biosintez

By Joseph Rai

  • 23 Nov 2016
Sun Pharma to acquire majority stake in Russia’s Biosintez
Other | Credit: Reuters

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said on Wednesday it has agreed to acquire an 85.1% stake in Russian drugmaker JSC Biosintez as part of its strategy to expand in emerging markets.

The equity consideration for the 85.1% stake is $24 million (Rs 164 crore), Sun Pharma said in a stock-exchange filing. The company will also assume debt of about $36 million as part of this transaction, it added.

Biosintez makes and sells pharmaceutical products in Russia and former Soviet republics. It focuses on the hospital segment and reported annual revenue of about $52 million for 2015. 


It makes a wide variety of dosage forms including pharmaceuticals for injections, blood substitutes, blood preservatives, ampoules, tablets, ointment, creams, gels, suppositories and bulk drugs. 

“This acquisition is consistent with Sun Pharma’s philosophy to invest in strategic emerging markets,” said Aalok Shanghvi, head of emerging markets at the Indian company. “This transaction gives us access to local manufacturing capability across multiple dosage forms in Russia, enabling us to serve the Russia pharmaceutical market more effectively.” 

The Russian pharmaceutical market recorded sales of about $10 billion, according to IMS data as of September. The market grew 7.4% in local currency terms, as per IMS.


The transaction is likely to be completed by the end of 2016. It is subject to approval of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service and other closing conditions, Sun Pharma said.

Sun Pharma, which counts Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and state investment firm Temasek as investors, has made a few other acquisitions in recent months while also shedding some assets.

In October, Sun Pharma agreed to acquire Ocular Technologies from global private equity firm Auven Therapeutics to boost its ophthalmic pipeline.


In March, Sun Pharma said it would acquire 14 prescription brands from Swiss firm Novartis AG in Japan for $293 million (about Rs 1,950 crore) in a deal that would help the company establish a strong footprint in the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market.

In June, the drugmaker entered the dermatology segment with the launch of sunscreen product Suncros as part of efforts to expand its over-the-counter business.

The drugmaker, which has 47 manufacturing facilities in six continents, posted consolidated revenue of $4.3 billion in the year through March 2016, of which the US contributed nearly half. 


Management change

Meanwhile, Sun Pharma said on Tuesday its chief financial officer Uday Baldota will step down. He will join Israel’s Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, a subsidiary of Sun Pharma, as CEO with effect from 1 April 2017. It didn't say who will replace Baldota at Sun Pharma.

The Indian drugmaker had acquired a controlling stake in Taro in 2010 after a three-year battle for control. 


Baldota will replace Kal Sundaram, who will step down by the end of the year. 

Billionaire Dilip Shanghvi, chairman of Sun Pharma and Taro, said in a separate statement that an interim CEO will soon be named to manage Taro’s business during the three-month period from Sundaram’s departure until Baldota’s arrival.

Baldota, an IIM Ahmedabad graduate, has about 20 years of management experience, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has spent a major portion of his time with Sun Pharma and has also worked at building materials company Lafarge India, polyester film maker Garware Polyester Ltd and global professional services company Accenture.

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