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China's Fosun Pharma to buy smaller stake in Indian firm for $1.1 billion


By Dominique Patton and Zeba Siddiqui

BEIJING/(Reuters) - Pharmaceutical Group has agreed to cut the size of the stake it will buy in India's to 74 percent, it said on Sunday, paying about $1.1 billion for what is still set to be China's biggest in

had previously sought an 86 percent stake valued at about $1.26 billion, but the deal had raised concerns among some in New Delhi, source told

Rules issued in June stipulate that foreign investors can buy equity stakes of up to 74 percent in India's pharmaceutical companies without requiring government approval.

did not mention regulatory hurdles in its statement to the stock exchange, noting only that Pharma's founding family wanted to retain bigger holding in the Indian company because of its good performance.

But managing director Ravi Penmetsa told that the companies had applied for antitrust approval in the United States and certain other approvals in that were at risk of expiring.

"Now with this new agreement, we won't have to reapply for those," he said, adding that he expects the deal to be completed in two weeks.

The new deal will cap Fosun's investment at $1.09 billion. also said it would spend no more than $25 million to market the Indian company's enoxaparin blood-thinning drug in the United States, when it obtains approval there, cutting the previously proposed marketing spend by half.

added that the deal would see it manufacture some of Fosun's biosimilar drugs for the Indian market. These are cheaper copies of complex biotech drugs that require specialised manufacturing capabilities and command much higher prices than regular generics.

Sunday's statement said that would be able to make the biosimilars at Fosun's site and sell them in

"It won't happen overnight, but we have started working on it," Penmetsa said.

The deal will also give better access to markets such as Africa, where it currently sells through third parties, Penmetsa said.

Penmetsa and his father, P.V.N. Raju, will remain on the board and the current management team will continue to run the company.

(Reporting by Dominique Patton in and Zeba Siddiqui in MUMBAI; Editing by David Clarke and David Goodman)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, September 17 2017. 21:02 IST