Sun to buy GSK’s opiates business in Australia

Our Bureau MUMBAI | Updated on January 24, 2018

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. File Photo   -  Reuters

Deal will boost its presence in pain management category

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is set to buy multinational drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline’s opiates business in Australia for an undisclosed sum.

The transaction will strengthen Sun’s presence in the controlled substances and pain management category, besides marking its entry into Australia.

The products moving out of GlaxoSmithKline’s portfolio consist of poppy-derived opiate raw materials primarily used in the manufacture of analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, a note from Sun said. According to reports, revenues from GSK’s opiates business stand at $69 million (₹414 crore).

Manufacturing sites in Latrobe (Tasmania) and Port Fairy (Victoria) and their portfolio of opiates products, along with inventory, will be transferred to a subsidiary of Sun Pharma as part of the transaction expected to close by August 2015. All employees from both sites will also be offered employment, Sun said.

The development comes even as Sun wraps up the last leg of its $4 billion proposal to buy troubled drugmaker Ranbaxy in India.  Last month had seen Sun’s promoter family invest ₹1,800 crore in Suzlon Energy. But Dilip Shanghvi, Sun’s Managing Director, had later told analysts that he would remain focussed on the pharmaceutical business.

GSK deal

The transaction helps GSK simplify its operations in Australia by allowing it to focus on its innovative product portfolio, central to the company’s growth strategy in that region, the note said. 

GSK has just completed a three-part mega deal forged last year with Novartis and Eli Lilly, allowing the companies to focus on their strengths and exit non-core areas. The over $20 billion asset-swap deal saw GSK acquire Novartis’ vaccines portfolio, even as it exited the cancer drugs category. The two companies also set up a consumer products joint venture, with GSK as majority stakeholder.

Published on March 03, 2015

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