New Delhi: Indian drug makers are snapping up select generic drugs in the US, seeking to expand in their largest market. After several recent acquisitions by Indian drug firms in the US, the latest opportunity that has opened up is Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’s sale of its US generic portfolio.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Cipla Ltd are among 30 companies looking to snap up oral solids, capsules, soft gels and hormones being sold by Teva, as the Israeli drug firm opens second-round bids for its generic drug portfolio this week.

Bloomberg, which reported the second-round bidding, said Teva could earn $500-800 million from the sale. Multinational drug firm Novartis is also among the bidders. The results of the first round of bidding are not out yet.

“Indian companies are betting big on the US. It is the biggest and most profitable market for most of them," said Hemant Bakhru, analyst at UBS Securities. Bakhru added that almost all the Indian companies are expected to see more than 20% growth in that market in the next couple of years.

“Glenmark is expected to grow by 25%, while Lupin and Cipla above 20% in the next couple of years. This comes at a time when the US market is growing only at a pace of around 4-5% annually," he said.

Indian companies had gone for an acquisition drive in the US in recent times. Lupin had acquired Gavis Pharmaceuticals and Novel Laboratories for $880 million in July, while Cipla bagged InvaGen and Exelan for $550 million in September, adding 32 more products to its portfolio.

The US is the world’s largest generic market valued at around $35 billion in annual sales. Among other major deals by Indian companies in the recent past are the acquisition of Natrol by Aurobindo Pharma for $132.5 million in 2014 and Dusa Pharmaceuticals by Sun Pharma for $230 million in 2012.

According to reports, Teva’s generic portfolio has about 35 products. It’s not clear if Teva plans to sell it in parts or together. If it does sell in parts, the competition could get tougher as some of the products are more lucrative than others and will likely see greater interest, said Bakhru.

Teva needs to sell its generic portfolio to gain antitrust approval for its $40.5 billion purchase of Allergan Plc’s generics business. Indian generic producers are looking for deals in the US as the US Food and Drug Administration has increased scrutiny on overseas manufacturers.

According to Bloomberg, Teva is working with financial advisory firm Greenhill & Co. on the generics sale.

Close