By 30 June, 2010

Times Private Treaties, the ad-for-equity investment arm of media house Bennett, Coleman & Company Ltd, has entered into a 'strategic alliance' with Novartis India Limited, a subsidiary of Swiss firm Novartis, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical company.

Novartis India Limited is the Indian listed arm of the Swiss major Novartis AG that makes brands such as Calcium Sandoz. It is not yet clear in what form BCCL has invested in Novartis India, as the listed company is yet to disclose any share issue.

The Swiss parent held 76.42% in the Indian arm after an open offer last year. Novartis scrip fell 2.63% in early morning trade on Wednesday which could be due to the fact that punters are booking profits in the stock. The scrip had hit a 52-week-high early this month as punters anticipated the parent to come up with an attractive offer to delist the firm as a follow-up to the new public listing norms.

Novartis is currently focusing on its brand "Calcium Sandoz Woman", an over-the-counter calcium supplement that helps prevent osteoporosis.

The deal is part of Times Private Treaties’ investment portfolio in healthcare, pharma and wellness segment. It already has a client portfolio including HCG Oncology, Thyrocare, Apollo Clinic, Richfeel, Asia Cryocell (LifeCell), Avestha Gengraine, Holistic Healthcare (Ayurcare) and Lotus Eye Care Hospital Ltd.

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