MUMBAI, March 6 Sun Pharmaceutical Industries
Ltd, India's biggest drugmaker by market value, is
looking for partnerships or acquisitions to enter Japan, an
especially lucrative market for manufacturers of low-cost drugs,
a senior executive said.
Politicians are lobbying for more generic drugs to go on
sale in Japan to bring down healthcare costs for a rapidly
Indian pharmaceutical firms are the world's biggest
manufacturers of generics, but Lupin Ltd is the only
Indian drugmaker that has so far made significant inroads in
"At an intent level, we would like to participate in the
Japanese generic market. But we are still thinking through as to
what's the best way to participate," Uday Baldota, senior vice
president for finance and accounts at Sun, told Reuters.
"It could be a partnership, or an acquisition. We haven't
really narrowed down the specific way of doing it."
Mumbai-based Sun gets more than half its sales from the
United States, the world's biggest pharmaceuticals market.
Sun has expanded in the last few years, mainly through
acquisitions, and Baldota said the company was on the look out
for more purchases. He declined to give details, however.
"We will do acquisitions and remain keen to do acquisitions,
but it's not necessary for us to do an acquisition just to grow
our business," Baldota said. "We feel comfortable doing large
deals. That is not something that will deter us."
Sun was said to be in talks last year to buy speciality
drugmaker Aptalis from private equity firm TPG Capital. In
January, Forest Laboratories Inc agreed to buy Aptalis
for $2.9 billion.
Sun's talks in the same year to buy Swedish drugmaker Meda
, a maker of speciality products, over-the-counter
drugs and branded generics, foundered on valuation, sources with
direct knowledge had told Reuters.
In 2012, Sun bought U.S.-based Dusa Pharmaceuticals Inc for
about $230 million, as well as URL Pharma from Japan's Takeda
Pharmaceutical Co for an undisclosed amount - boosting
its growth and market share in the United States.
Sun also sought to take full control of its U.S.-listed
Israeli unit Taro Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, but
the deal was terminated last year after a long-drawn battle.
(Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui, Sumeet Chatterjee and Ben
Hirschler; Editing by Miral Fahmy)