Hyderabad: Aurobindo Pharma Ltd, Hyderabad’s Rs1,550-crore drug maker, plans up to three small acquisitions in Spain and Portugal in the next four months as it looks to expand ownership of approved pharmaceutical products in Europe, its chairman said.
“We are primarily interested in acquiring companies with turnovers of €5-10 million (Rs29-58 crore) and significant product registrations. We are expecting 30-40 product approvals in European countries in next one year and are keen on expanding the basket to about 90 products there,” P.V. Ramaprasad Reddy said. “These acquisitions will help achieve that.”
Aurobindo acquired two European non-patented drug firms, the Netherlands-based Pharmacin International and UK’s Milpharm Ltd, in 2006.
Of the $200 million (Rs860 crore) raised through foreign currency convertible bonds last year, Aurobindo has about $130 million still available with it, which can be used for the proposed overseas acquisitions, Reddy said.
Approvals for drugs in the European Union is a process that can take as long as three years and buyouts can reduce this waiting period and help Aurobindo strengthen its sales of drug formulations in Europe and the US. Exports contribute to over 60% of the company’s turnover.
“We’re aiming to touch the Rs2,000 crore mark during 2006-07 and have set a target of $1 billion by 2009-10,” Reddy said, adding, acquisitions will help achieving that target.
To expand its exports in South America, Reddy said, Aurobindo is setting up a $6-7 million bulk drugs manufacturing facility in Brazil, to add to a testing laboratory and a warehouse there.
The facility is proposed at a time when some large tenders for anti-AIDS drugs are expected to be floated by the Brazil government. Local manufacturing will yield significant benefits, Reddy said, since companies with a presence there get preference in government-led buying of drugs.