Torrent Pharma in race for part of Elder Pharmaceuticals

Ahmedabad-based drugmaker Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd has submitted a non-exclusive bid to acquire certain businesses of Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd, it disclosed on Friday.

It was responding to a story in The Times of India which said the firm is in talks to buy Elder Pharma’s domestic business and has offered Rs 1,700 crore.

“As a growing company, we do continuously explore business opportunities—organic as well as inorganic. In line with this approach, the company has submitted a non-exclusive bid for certain business of Elder subject to various assumption and conditions, not yet complied with. At this stage, therefore, there is no crystalised proposal. Hence, the matter is premature,” the company announced. Torrent is among a few large-sized local drugmakers.

Elder Pharma in a separate disclosure said, “With a view to reduce the debt of the company, the board of directors have approved the proposal for carrying out restricting of company’s businesses involving either raising of capital, hiving off of assets or other strategic options on July 11, 2013. We are exploring various options; however, at this stage no proposal has been crystalised.”

Elder Pharm is into the formulations business while another group firm Elder Health Care is into OTC drugs. The group has been looking to sell its domestic formulations unit. As reported previously, the group wants to focus on OTC category going forward.

Separate media reports have earlier named Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer as suitors for the formulations business.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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