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Sun Pharma chief to invest in Israeli firm

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chairman will pick up an 11 per cent stake in an Israeli investment company that specialises in the life sciences sector. The investment, to be carried out in his personal capacity, comes close on the heels of Sun’s takeover of Taro Pharmaceuticals in that country.

Dilip ShanghviShanghvi’s investment of NIS 10.5 million (about Rs 13.6 crore) will be through his private company, M J Pharmaceuticals Ltd. While Shanghvi was not willing to comment, sources close to him confirmed it.

The stake in (TASE)-listed Bio-Light Life Sciences Investments Ltd, which announced its decision to allot 30 million shares to Shanghvi’s company, is with a group of investors led by Israel Makov, former chief executive officer of the world’s largest (and Israel-based) generics drug company, Teva Pharmaceuticals.

Bio-Light focuses on investments in small, research-oriented biotech companies. It has already taken over Micromedic Technologies that has developed a range of cancer diagnostic tools. The other portfolio company is IOptima Ltd, an ophthalmology specialty company. TASE data indicates Makov, with a 14.53 per cent stake, is the single biggest investor in Bio-Light. After his investment, Shanghvi would be the second largest individual shareholder.

Sun Pharma, India’s most valued drug company in terms of market capitalisation, is also strong in the oncology segment. Shanghvi, however, is not expected to play an active role in Bio-Light and may remain a strategic investor. Sun Pharma took a controlling stake in Taro after a three-year legal battle in Israel.

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