India’s Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has teamed up with private equity funds to bid for the generic drugs unit of Merck KGaA, a leading Indian daily reported on 20 March, quoting unnamed sources.
Torrent, with a market capitalisation of just over $370 million, would join other Indian drug makers Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. and Cipla Ltd. in the race for the Merck unit, which some analysts expect may fetch about $6 billion.
“Torrent has put in an aggressive bid of over $5 billion,” the report quoted a market source as saying. “It has teamed up with private equity investors for the acquisition.”The paper did not name the private equity funds.
A Torrent spokesman, when contacted by Reuters, declined to comment on the report.Ranbaxy said last week it had submitted a bid for the generics business. Cipla has not bid directly but linked up with private equity firms.
Also in the race are Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Iceland’s Actavis and US -based Mylan Laboratories Inc., who are seen the strongest among bidders.