The drugmaker is seeking buyers for its nutraceuticals and vitamins portfolio, a non-core unit, said one of the people cited above, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.(REUTERS)
The drugmaker is seeking buyers for its nutraceuticals and vitamins portfolio, a non-core unit, said one of the people cited above, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.(REUTERS)

Sanofi India may sell select OTC drugs biz

  • The sale of the portfolio is likely to fetch Sanofi India around 600 crore, the people added. The local unit of the French drugmaker has hired Deloitte Corporate Finance to manage the sale, they said.
By Bruhadeeswaran R, Ranjani Raghavan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 25, 2021 11:45 PM IST

Sanofi India Ltd, the local unit of the French drugmaker, is in advanced talks to sell a select portfolio of its over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to a domestic pharmaceutical firm, two people aware of the development said.

The drugmaker is seeking buyers for its nutraceuticals and vitamins portfolio, a non-core unit, said one of the people cited above, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

The pharma business of Piramal Enterprises Ltd is in an advanced stage of acquiring the portfolio and is conducting due diligence, the person added. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is also among the companies that have shown interest, the people said on the condition of anonymity.

The sale of the portfolio is likely to fetch Sanofi India around 600 crore, the people added. The local unit of the French drugmaker has hired Deloitte Corporate Finance to manage the sale, they said.

Spokespersons for Piramal Group and Deloitte declined to comment. Separate queries to Sanofi SA and Dr Reddy’s remained unanswered.

Sanofi built its India business through multiple acquisitions. In 2009, it acquired vaccine maker Shantha Biotechnics, and a couple of years later, it bought the over-the-counter drugs business of Mumbai-based Universal Medicare Ltd for its branded nutraceuticals formulations.

A February report by Pharma Intelligence said that globally, Sanofi is looking to sell 150 OTC brands as part of a radical overhaul of its consumer healthcare operation. Last month, Sanofi sold an integrated portfolio of its anti-inflammatory drugs to Italian drug maker Fidia Farmaceutici. At that point, the drugmaker had said that the “transaction continues Sanofi’s ongoing strategic transformation by simplifying its portfolio and streamlining to enhance profitability”.

The company’s new executive vice president, consumer healthcare, Julie Van Ongevalle, has unveiled a wide-ranging turnaround plan, with the goal of transforming Sanofi into an OTC market leader, the report added.

In late 2019, Sanofi announced the sale of a manufacturing unit in Gujarat’s Ankleshwar to Zentiva Pvt. Ltd for 261.7 crore in a slump sale.

Last month, the contract development and manufacturing organisation of Piramal Pharma said it had signed a deal to acquire 100% of Hemmo Pharmaceuticals for 775 crore.

The acquisition, if it goes through, will help Piramal Pharma Solutions enter into the growing peptide active pharmaceutical ingredients market.

In June last year, Piramal Pharma Solutions had acquired a solid oral dosage drug manufacturing facility from US-based G&W Laboratories Inc.

In the same month, its parent had received a commitment of $490 million from private equity (PE) firm Carlyle for a 20% stake.

The number of PE deals in India’s healthcare sector tou-ched the highest mark in at least five quarters in January-March, shows a VCCircle analysis.

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