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Emami interested in acquiring Paras Pharma: Official

business Updated: Sep 09, 2010 13:05 IST

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Personal-care products maker Emami Ltd is looking to acquire Ahmedabad-based unlisted personal care firm Paras Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a top official said on Thursday.

"We are interested in acquiring Paras Pharma. Negotiations on that front haven't started yet but as and when it comes to that we will start talking," Harsh Agarwal, Emami's group director, told Reuters.

He, however, refused to comment on the price Emami would be willing to pay for the acquisition.

Earlier on Thursday, Mint newspaper had reported that the firm is in talks to buy Paras Pharma for 40 billion rupees, but Agarwal declined to confirm the number.

Emami, which manufactures personal care brands such as 'Fair and Handsome', 'Navratna Oil', 'Boroplus' and 'Sonachandi Chyawanprash', has been scouting for acquisitions in the personal care space after it acquired Zandu Pharmaceutical Works Ltd in November 2008.

As on March 31, Emami had cash reserves of 6.04 billion rupees and the firm in June had passed an enabling resolution to raise 10 billion rupees.

Paras Pharma has over-the-counter and personal care brands such as 'Moov', 'Krack', 'D Cold', 'Set Wet' amongst others.

Emami is interested in a controlling stake in the firm and not just acquiring the personal care brands of Paras, Agarwal, who handles the personal care products business for Emami, told Reuters.

Private equity firms Actis Advisors Pvt Ltd and Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt Ltd jointly hold 70 percent stake in Paras while the rest is held by the promoter, he added.

"Actis and Sequoia are interested in selling their stake and once the talks begin we are interested in acquiring a controlling stake," he said.

Girish Patel, chairman of Paras, declined to comment, Mint quoted him as saying. Officials at Paras Pharma could not be immediately reached for a comment by Reuters.

At 10:17 a.m., Emami shares were up 1.63 percent at 467 rupees in a firm Mumbai market.