Mumbai: Mankind Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, one of India’s top-ten drugmakers by sales, is willing to spend up to 5 billion ($80.30 million) to buy local rivals and is keen on licensing deals with foreign firms, a top official at the firm said.

The company is also exploring buying established brands to expand its domestic footprint, managing director Sheetal Arora told Reuters in a phone interview.

In scouting for local companies with niche capabilities, New Delhi-based Mankind would be competing with nearly all the top Indian pharma players, who are keen to expand domestically. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, India’s second-largest drugmaker by sales, is also selectively exploring deals to expand in India.

Mankind’s growth plans come as, according to Arora, the drugmaker is seeing interest from new private equity investors, with private equity fund ChrysCapital Investment Advisors India looking to sell its stake. ChrysCapital held an 11.1% stake in family-owned Mankind, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said, but Arora declined to specify.

“Lots of foreign companies are looking to launch products here, but India is a very complex market, so they need to tie up with companies that have strong marketing strength," Arora said. That’s where Mankind believes it is well-positioned.

“We want to tie-up with a multinational who wants to enter the Indian market ... maybe in lifestyle diseases, as we have very strong marketing muscle in India in diabetes," Arora said.

Mankind sells more than a thousand products in India across 14 therapeutic areas ranging from pain and allergy to cardiology, neurology, diabetology, and women’s health. Over the past year the company has also begun exporting to about a dozen countries, but the international business only makes up 1% of sales so far.

Recently listed by the healthcare consultancy IMS among one of the fastest-growing companies in India by sales, Mankind is expecting its domestic revenue for the fiscal year 2016 to grow to 44 billion ($705.52 million) from about 25 billion the year earlier, Arora said.

Mankind is one of the biggest players in the sexual health market in India, although the segment contributes only about 8% to 10% to its total sales. Its popular Manforce condom brand has annual sales of 3 billion, Arora said.

ChrysCapital managing director Sanjiv Kaul did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters

Indu Lal contributed to this story.

Close