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      Dr. Reddy's to buy Roche's Mexico Bulk Drugs Unit

      Posted AtReuters

      Drug maker Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement to acquire Roche's active pharmaceutical ingredients business in Mexico for $59 million.

      It said the all-cash deal, to be completed by the end of December, included 340 employees at the site in Cuernavaca and all its business supply contracts. The unit makes and sells bulk drugs to Roche and other innovator pharmaceutical companies.

      Dr. Reddy's said in a statement it expected the unit to add to earnings and saw the full impact from the next financial year. Its shares rose 1 percent to 897 rupees in a firm Mumbai market.

      With the acquisition, Dr. Reddy's said it hoped to become a leading player in custom pharmaceutical services, targeting big pharma companies, and forecast its revenue from the business could grow to $100 million in 18 months from $10 million now.

      Roche's Mexican portfolio has 18 products. Dr. Reddy's said the buyout also gave it unique steroid manufacturing capability.

      Hyderabad-based Dr. Reddy's has posted poor financial results in the past few years due to a lack of blockbuster generics for sale in the U.S. market and high research and development costs. It is now trying to retune its operations to get back on track.

      It sold its 49 percent stake in Pathnet India, a joint venture with Australia's Gribbles Pathology, in July this year for an undisclosed amount. It has also structured deals with venture capitalists in a bid to reduce its research costs.

      A company official said Dr. Reddy's would be left with about $115 million cash in hand after the Mexico acquisition.

      November 08, 2005


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