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ChennaiFeb 13Actavis, the global pharma major, today announced that it has taken over the bulk drugs division of Chennai-based Sanmar Speciality Chemicals Ltd.

Actavis officials refused to disclose the consideration.

This is Actavis's second acquisition of a Chennai-based company in two months. In December the group had taken over Grandix Pharmaceuticals, a tablets manufacturer.

Mr Robert Wessman, President and CEO of Actavis, told newspersons today that with the acquisition Actavis had captured the entire value chain. He added that Sanmar Speciality would "strongly complement" Actavis's existing manufacturing capabilities in Chennai.

The acquisition gives Actavis 25 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), the term for bulk drug molecules, which Sanmar Speciality had been producing. Actavis intends to produce five more APIs at Sanmar.

In February 2005, Actavis took over Lotus Laboratories in Bangalore, which does bio-equivalence research.

While Lotus does the research, Sanmar would make the bulk drugs and Grandix would produce the tablets, which completes the value chain.

Actavis has so far invested $50-60 million in India, Mr Wessman said, but refused to give an idea of future investments.

He said that the company would raise the capacity of Grandix Pharma from one billion tablets to four billion in two years. Again, no investment details were disclosed.

Actavis also has marketing tie-ups with a number of Indian companies, such as Chennai-based Orchid Chemicals and Shasun Chemicals.

These companies produce formulations, which are marketed in agreed geographies by Actavis.

Asked if more acquisitions in India are in the offing, Mr Wessman said that Actavis had a large M&A division that is always on the lookout for acquisition opportunities.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 14, 2007)
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