Mumbai: Drug maker Merck Ltd, the Indian arm of Germany’s Merck KGaA, is in advanced talks to buy local drug, speciality chemicals, and food and beverage companies by the end of 2009, managing director Marek Dziki said.
He declined to provide investment details but two people familiar with the discussions said the acquisitions could be in the range of €50-150 million (about Rs320-961 crore).
Proven model: Marek Dziki, chiefexecutive officer of Merck Ltd.
“There could be a couple of such deals here in the current fiscal as 2009 seems to be good as far as our growth plans are concerned,” Dziki said on Thursday after the company launched an iron supplement for women. Merck follows the calendar year for its accounting.
“Some of the talks are in advanced stages, though we are not in (a) hurry as our priority for the target is better business model and proven track record for at least seven to eight years in the local market.”
A global team of top executives in drug research, marketing and finance has been evaluating the acquisition targets for some time now, he added.
Merck’s acquisition plan in India is part of its global business growth plans, especially in Asia and the US.
In India, Merck group is targeting annual revenue of €500 million by 2012; its current sales is €70 million a year. “We want to be one among the top 10 in India by that time.”
He said funding would not be a constraint for acquisitions if the target’s business model and product portfolio fit Merck’s criteria.
In the drug segment, it will be looking to expand its portfolio in consumer health care, or over the counter drugs, and in speciality treatments such as cardiology and diabetes.
Merck Ltd’s consumer health division currently has less than 10 products. It plans to add several products over the next few years and hire another 500 people. It also plans to add 25 new products in 2009.
“Though mainly anticipated through organic or internal route, the proposed acquisitions should also add more products and people to the group here,” Dziki said.
Merck also operates Merck Specialities Pvt. Ltd, focused on therapeutic segments such as oncology and fertility.