March 25, 2009 / 9:21 AM / in 10 years

UPDATE 1-Novartis seeks to up stake in India unit

* Novartis offering $87 mln to up stake to nearly 90 pct

* Price offered is 27 pct premium to Tues close

(Adds details)

ZURICH, Mar 25 (Reuters) - Swiss drug maker Novartis NOVN.VX said on Wednesday it had made an open offer worth around $87 million to increase its stake in subsidiary Novartis India (NOIN.BO) to nearly 90 percent if successful.

Novartis is seeking to acquire up to an additional 39 percent in its unit at 351 rupees ($12.42) per share, a 27 percent premium on Tuesday’s closing price. ($1=28.27 Rupee) (Reporting by Jason Rhodes and Ami Shah; Editing by Hans Peters)

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