Stent-maker SMT acquires stake in Brazilian firm

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on November 26, 2019

Ganesh Sabat, CEO, SMT

Acquisition will expand company’s presence in Brazil besides serving as a hub for the wider Latin American market

Indian stent-maker SMT (Sahajanand Medical Technologies) has acquired a majority stake in Brazil-based sales and marketing company Zarek Distribuidora De Produtos Hospitalares, for an undisclosed amount. The recent acquisition will strengthen SMT’s ground-presence in Brazil besides being a hub for the expanded Latin American market, SMT Chief Executive Ganesh Sabat told BusinessLine. “Our strategy to supply directly to hospitals has worked successfully in India and we are looking to do something similar in Brazil,” he explained.

Brazil is largely a reimbursement-based healthcare system, he said, on the rationale behind interacting directly with public and private hospitals. And, it has free trade agreements with other large markets in Latin America, he added.

Having started in 2007, Zarek’s product portfolio includes interventional cardiology and endovascular products such as coronary and peripheral stents, balloons and drug eluting balloons.

Stents are wire-like meshes inserted into blood vessels, usually in the heart, to remove blockages. While the prescription of interventional procedures such as surgeries and the use of stents as the first port of call in people with stable heart disease has been questioned by a recent study, these procedures are prescribed when there are active symptoms.

The DES (drug eluting stents) segment is pegged to have a size of $100 million by 2020. Brazil is among the top ten international markets for interventional cardiology.

Looking ahead, Sabat said that inorganic growth was on the radar for the ₹400 crore-plus company, as it establishes a presence in different regions. The Brazilian alliance was executed through SMT’s Ireland subsidiary in October, but other formalities needed to be sealed before it was announced, Sabat explained. SMT has a direct presence in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.

SMT intends to invest in building its field force and top management to promote its fourth generation drug eluting coronary stents Supraflex Cruz and Supraflex Star in Brazil. The company had recently received approval for these products from ANVISA, Brazil’s regulatory authority.

Gaurav Goel, SMT Corporate Strategy Head, said in a statement that Brazil was the largest market in Latin America and the acquisition gave SMT a direct presence that would provide greater flexibility in customer service and engagement.

Zarek Chief Executive Diego Mucelin said in the statement that the partnership would help them serve the entire Brazilian market more efficiently and quickly, besides creating opportunities for jobs and international investments in Brazil.

Brazil shares land borders with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It is also a member of the South American Common Market (Mercosur), SMT said, underlining its significance.

Published on November 26, 2019

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