New Delhi: Drug major Cipla Ltd has inked a joint venture (JV) agreement with Morocco-based Societe Marocaine De Cooperation Pharmaceutique (Cooper Pharma) and The Pharmaceutical Institute (PHI) to enhance its position in the African country.

Cipla (EU) Ltd, UK, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mumbai-based drug firm, has inked the JV agreement with the Moroccan entities. “This JV will enable Cipla to establish a front-end presence in Morocco’s pharmaceutical market, becoming the launch vehicle for Cipla’s portfolio while leveraging the commercial strengths of partners," Cipla said in a statement. “The initial focus of the JV shall be respiratory and neurology products and it shall also invest in setting up a manufacturing facility in Morocco."

As per the agreement, Cipla (EU) Ltd will hold 60% stake in the JV, while Cooper Pharma and PHI shall together hold 40% stake. “Cipla (EU) Ltd’s expected investment in cash in the JV is estimated at up to $15 million (over 90 crore)," the company said.

Commenting on the development, Cipla MD & Global CEO, Subhanu Saxena said that Morocco is an attractive pharmaceutical market in the African continent. “This JV is aimed to strengthen Cipla’s presence in Morocco, which is in-line with our global growth strategy to build front-end presence in key markets". Cipla has enjoyed a long-standing business relationship with Cooper Pharma and PHI for over a decade and this JV will further strengthen the company’s relationship, he added.

The transaction remains subject to conditions precedent and applicable regulatory approvals, the company said. Cipla shares were closed at 629.65 apiece on the BSE, down 3.90% from its previous close.