Hyderabad's Aurobindo Pharma has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian pharmaceuticals company Apotex International Inc's commercial operations and certain supporting infrastructure in five European countries for €74 million (Rs 5.93 bn) in an all-cash deal.
The acquisition will extend and diversify Aurobindo’s European product portfolio by adding over 200 generics and more than 80 over-the-counter products that had total sales of 133 million euros in the year ending March 2018. Aurobindo clocked a sales of €577 million in Europe last fiscal. The Hyderabad-based company, in fact, led the pack amongst Indian pharma majors with a 33 per cent year-on-year rise in sales in EU market last financial year.
V Muralidharan, senior vice-president of European operations for Aurobindo, said, "This acquisition is a key step towards our goal of becoming one of the leading generics companies in Europe." Although some of these businesses are currently loss-making, Aurobindo "expects them to return to profitability when combined with its vertically integrated platform and existing commercial infrastructure".
Aurobindo's step-down subsidiary, Agile Pharma B V (Netherlands) has signed a definitive agreement with Canadian pharmaceuticals company Apotex International Inc. The company expects to close the deal in three-six months.
The acquisition includes a portfolio of over 200 prescription drugs and 88 OTC products and an additional pipeline of over 20 products, which are expected to be launched over the next two years. There is also a manufacturing facility in Leiden in the Netherlands, with capabilities across manufacturing and packaging and a capacity of 1.8 billion tablets per annum
With the acquisition of Apotex Inc's commercial operations in the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic and Belgium, Aurobindo will be able to improve its market access, besides adding a quarter of its existing European revenues in the form of Apotex's sales.
Aurobindo has been expanding its European footprint since 2006, both organically and via acquisitions across several key markets, most notable among being the acquisitions of Actavis's commercial operations in seven Western European countries in 2014 and Generis Farmaceutica in Portugal in 2017. Its current European business spans across nine countries, including the UK, France and Belgium, and involves government business, tender generics, branded generics and hospital generics segments.
In Poland, Aurobindo will add significant sales based on the established brand name APO as well as a dedicated sales force covering physicians and the pharmacy network.
"In Poland and Czech Republic, Aurobindo will become one of top 15 generics companies in each country. In Netherlands, the acquisition will lead to Aurobindo becoming a leading OTC company by volume, in Spain it will strengthen the company's position in the generics market and in Belgium, the acquisition will provide Aurobindo with an entry into the retail generics space, where it will become a top 5 player," the company said.
Europe is the third largest market for Indian drug makers after the US and Africa. IQVIA data shows that at $35 bn, the European generics market is the world's second largest by value after the US.
Analysts pointed out that the robust growth in Europe business of Aurbindo in 2017-18 is partly because of the fact that it benefited from the absence of a major player in the tendering process last year.