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Aventis Pharma to buy OTC biz of Universal Medicare

Aventis Pharma to buy OTC biz of Universal Medicare
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First Published: Wed, Aug 24 2011. 01 03 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Aug 24 2011. 01 03 PM IST
Mumbai: Aventis Pharma, a unit of France’s Sanofi , said on Wednesday that it will acquire unlisted Universal Medicare’s nutraceuticals business to boost its consumer healthcare and wellness segment in India.
Shares of Aventis Pharma rose over 7% early on Wednesday.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011 and involves transfer of about 750 employees of Universal to Aventis Pharma, the latter said in a statement.
Reuters had reported on Tuesday, Aventis was close to buying the over-the-counter business of Universal Medicare for about Rs 500 crore ($109.5 million).
Universal Medicare’s turnover of the nutraceuticals business, which comprises of over 40 over-the-counter formulations, was about Rs110 crore, it said without disclosing the deal value.
Universal’s portfolio includes cod liver oil capsules Seacod, vitamin supplement tablets Multivite Gold, eyecare brand Selace-i, skin care brand Radiance and pain relief gel Icegel.
“This strategic acquisition will allow Aventis Pharma and Sanofi Group to reach out to large sections of India’s population through a broad offering comprising of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and now nutraceuticals,” Shailesh Ayyangar, managing director, Aventis Pharma, said.
According to the deal, Universal Medicare will manufacture the products and supply them to Aventis Pharma on mutually agreed terms, it said.
Over-the-counter products made by Indian firms have been acquisition targets for multinational drug companies looking to expand their footprint in fast-growing markets.
In December, British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser agreed to buy privately-held Indian firm Paras Pharmaceuticals, which makes a number of medications, for about $726 million.
In May, Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy several over-the-counter medicines sold in Russia from India’s JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd for about $260 million.
Shares of Aventis Pharma, which have gained 6.2% this year, compared to a 12.4% drop in the broader India healthcare index , were trading up 5.82% at Rs 2,161.80 in a weak Mumbai market on Wednesday.
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First Published: Wed, Aug 24 2011. 01 03 PM IST