Aventis Pharma to exit vaccines co; shares rise

Aventis Pharma to exit vaccines co; shares rise

Mumbai: Aventis Pharma Ltd, a unit of French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis, said on Monday it would sell 49% stake in a vaccine making firm to its joint venture partner Novartis Pharma AG for $22.4 million.

Shares of Aventis Pharma rose more than 6% after the announcement.

Aventis Pharma holds 4.9 million shares in vaccines maker Chiron Behring Vaccines Pvt Ltd while the rest is owned by Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Inc, a unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, Aventis said in a statement.

Until February 2009, the unit was manufacturing anti-rabies vaccine ‘Rabipur´ at its plant in Ankleshwar in the state of Gujarat while Novartis Healthcare is the distributor of the vaccines in the country, it said.

According to the agreement, Aventis would continue to provide certain utilities and services at the Ankleshwar plant for a period of three years on mutually agreed terms, it said adding the deal would close before 31 Dec.

After the deal is closed, all the pending disputes and legal proceedings between Aventis Pharma and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics would be withdrawn unconditionally, it added.

At 12:48 p.m., shares of Aventis Pharma were trading at 1,800, up 1.12% in a weak Mumbai market.