Sun Pharma to buy GSK’s opiates business in Australia

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, the country's most valued pharma company, is buying GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) opiates business in Australia for an undisclosed amount, it said on Tuesday.

The current GSK opiates business including related manufacturing sites in Latrobe (Tasmania) and Port Fairy (Victoria) and its portfolio of opiates products along with inventory, will be transferred to a subsidiary of Sun Pharma.

Iftach Seri, executive vice president of API business at Sun Pharma, said, “The global opiates market holds good potential and the addition of GSK’s opiates business will strengthen our positioning. The acquisition is a part of our strategy towards building our portfolio of opiates and accessing strong capabilities in this segment.”

The product portfolio consists of poppy-derived opiate raw materials that are primarily used in the manufacturing of analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.

All employees from both sites will also be offered employment by Sun Pharma with the opiates business.

Steve Morris, general manager, GSK Opiates, said, “The opiates business has been an important part of our Australian business for many years, but as our portfolio transitions, we believe now is the right time to hand this business over to someone else.”

“Sun Pharma has an established footprint in this market and with the addition of our highly skilled employees, they are well placed to take the business forward,” he said.

The transaction closure is expected to close by August this year.

Sun Pharma has been on an acquisition spree. In April last year, it had announced its plan to acquire rival Ranbaxy from its Japanese parent Daiichi Sankyo, in an all-stock deal valued at $3.2 billion. Besides, the deal involves a debt component of $800 million. The acquisition would also provide Sun Pharma a global manufacturing base with as many as 47 production facilities across the US, Latin America, Europe and India.

Recently, Sun Pharma acquired US-based Pharmalucence Inc for an undisclosed amount. It has been linked to a few other global firms which are up for sale.

For the year ended March 31, 2014, overall revenues of the company were $2.7 billion, of which US contributed $1.6 billion. In India, the company is a leader in niche therapy areas of psychiatry, neurology, cardiology, nephrology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and ophthalmology.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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