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Pharma giants in race to buy Orchid Pharma: Report

Pharma giants in race to buy Orchid Pharma: Report

MUMBAI: In a bid to acquire bankrupt Orchid Pharma, pharma giants including Strides Shasun, Nectar Lifesciences, as well as Blackstone, a private equity firm are reportedly in the race as the Aurobindo Pharma and Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories stepped out of the bid.

A recent news in Economics Times states that 10 offers have been received by Orchid Pharma has including bids from four financial bidders and six pharmaceutical companies.

According to the paper, Ramchandra group, that runs medical colleges in Chennai, Mumbai-based Melody Healthcare, Hyderabad-based Bion Pharma, Edelweiss Alternative Asset Advisors, and asset reconstruction companies JM Financial ARC and Phoenix ARC have also shown interest.

Last year, Orchid Pharma was referred to the bankruptcy court by Lakshmi Vilas Bank in financial claims of Rs 3,500 crore. The company exports active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of antibiotics and has two US Food and Drug Administration-approved manufacturing plants.

Speaking with ET a person having knowledge about the matter said, “Initially, as many 25 applications were received when the company invited expressions of interest. However, just about 10 companies have paid the fees for accessing the data room before the December 1 deadline. It appears that only these companies would be interested in submitting a formal resolution plan.”

Strides in November sold its India business to Eris Lifesciences for Rs 500 crore and Gland Celsus is one of the group companies of Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma in which Chinese drug giant Fosun has a majority stake. Gland Pharma has, however, denied that it has bid.

As per the news report, experts said that the bankruptcy in Orchid Pharma reflects the state of API manufacturers in India. API manufacturers have faced strong competition from Chinese rivals as almost 60 percent of APIs are imported from China that used by Indian pharma companies to make drugs.

The state of small and medium-size API makers persuaded the government to set up a taskforce to impose curbs on the import of APIs and encourage domestic makers. Orchid had sold assets to rein in debt reports ET.

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Source: with inputs
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