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Matrix Labs completes Docpharma purchase

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Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Oct. 5

MATRIX Laboratories Ltd (MLL) has announced on Wednesday that it has acquired 46.5 lakh shares of the Belgium-based Docpharma through Matrix Laboratories NV in the public takeover bid that closed on September 28.

Following this, the shareholding of Matrix in Docpharma rose to 95.51 per cent. In a press release here, Matrix said payment of the offer price of 34 euros per share would occur on October 13.

The value of the transaction, at the offer price of 34 euros per share, amounts to 214 million euros(Rs 1,025 crore) .

After accounting for Docpharma's net cash position and its own shares held by the Docpharma group, the enterprise value amounts to 193.85 million euros.

Earlier, Matrix and Docpharma had signed share purchase agreements covering 13,70,085 shares, approximately 22 per cent of shares outstanding, on June 19.

Squeeze-out bid: In accordance with Article 513 of the Belgian Companies Code, and as announced in the prospectus, Matrix Laboratories NV would bring a public squeeze-out bid for all remaining Docpharma shares, which were not tendered.

The squeeze-out bid runs from October 12 until November 2 on the same terms - at 34 euros per Docpharma share, the Matrix release said.

After expiry of the bid, the shares that have not been tendered would be deemed to have been transferred to Matrix Laboratories NV with consignation of the offer price.

At the date of closing of the squeeze-out bid and after close of trading, the Docpharma shares would be delisted from Euronext, Brussels, the release said.

Generic gain: Commenting on the transaction, the Matrix Labs Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr N. Prasad, told Business Line that the acquisition of Docpharma accelerates Matrix's evolution as a growing force within the global generic pharmaceutical industry.

The transaction allows Matrix to gain direct access into the under-represented, high growth generic pharmaceutical markets of Belgium and southern Europe.

"We will continue our strategy of partnering with the generic companies world-wide, while continuing to develop our presence in Docpharma's target markets.

"Docpharma's strengths in product selection, branding, marketing and distribution are highly complementary to our traditional strengths in product development and manufacturing," Mr Prasad said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 6, 2005)
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