Mumbai: Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed company controlled by billionaire Guo Guangchang, will acquire 96% stake in India’s Gland Pharma Ltd for $1.3-1.5 billion ( 8,700-10,000 crore), according to two persons in the know. The Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma is backed by global private equity firm KKR & Co.

The deal will be announced in a day, said the first person close to the development.

Established in 1978, Gland Pharma develops and manufactures generic injectables, primarily for the US market. It also sells its products in India and other semi-regulated markets. Its manufacturing facilities are approved by the US and UK drug regulators.

On 9 May, Fosun Industrial Co. Ltd, a unit of the Chinese drug maker, made a non-binding proposal to existing shareholders of Gland Pharma, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on 16 May.

Fosun was in race with US pharma firm Baxter International Inc. to buy Gland Pharma, said the second person. Advent International, Baxter and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd are among contenders for Gland Pharma, Reuters reported in April.

Fosun’s bid for a controlling stake in Gland Pharma is a rare instance of a Chinese drug maker seeking to buy an Indian company. Foreign investments from China have long been viewed with suspicion in India.

Spokespersons at Gland Pharma, KKR and Fosun Group could not be reached for a comment at the time of filing the report.

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical ended 2015 with a revenue of $1.9 billion. Its market value was $8.3 billion as of 31 December 2015.

In 2013, KKR spent around $200 million to buy an undisclosed stake in Gland from Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund.

This will be KKR’s second exit in India in 2016. In March, KKR sold its 80% stake in Netherlands-based Alliance Tire Group, promoted by Indian entrepreneur Yogesh Mahansaria, to Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd in a deal that valued the company at $1.2 billion. KKR had invested in Alliance Tire in 2013 at a valuation of $600 million.

Several Indian injectable makers have attracted interest from foreign buyers. In 2013, Bengaluru-based Strides Arcolab Ltd sold Agila Specialties, its injectable drugs unit, to US-based Mylan Inc. for a total consideration of $1.75 billion.

The global market for injectables was estimated to be around $300 billion in 2014. The US accounts for around 35% of the market. The Indian market is estimated to be around $2 billion.

The generics market is smaller but no less interesting.

Big Pharma has been active in the M&A (merger and acquisition) space in India.

In November last year, US drug maker Mylan completed its $750 million acquisition of the women’s healthcare businesses from Mumbai-based Famy Care Ltd.

In October, Sweden’s Recipharm AB announced plans to acquire a majority stake in Nitin Lifesciences Ltd, an Indian sterile injectables contract manufacturer, for about $100 million.

“The pharma, healthcare and biotech sector has seen high levels of activity in the M&A space during 2015. The transaction volumes have been the highest in the last five years. In 2015, 65 M&A transactions valued at $4.04 billion were executed as against 64 transactions valued at $5.7 billion in 2014," according to advisory Grant Thornton’s Annual Deal Tracker in 2015.

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