|Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co. Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed company controlled by billionaire Guo Guangchang, said it had submitted a non-binding proposal to acquire a 96% stake in India’s Gland Pharma Ltd.|
Private equity firm KKR and Co. owns a significant minority stake in Gland Pharma.
On 9 May, Fosun Industrial Co. Ltd, a unit of the Chinese drug maker, made a non-binding proposal to existing shareholders of Gland Pharma, the company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday.
Fosun’s bid for a controlling stake in Gland Pharma is a rare instance of a Chinese drug maker seeking to buy an Indian company. Foreign investments from China have long been viewed with suspicion in India.
“As at the date of this announcement, the non-binding proposal is still in a bidding process on a non-exclusive basis, which shall be confirmed by the relevant parties pending the selection and acceptance by the existing shareholders of Gland,” the statement said.
In the event that the non-binding proposal made by Fosun Industrial is successful, “it will enhance and improve the Group’s drug manufacture and research and development capacity and the degree of internationalization,” it added.
US pharma major Baxter International Inc. has emerged the front-runner to buy Gland Pharma for over $1 billion, The Economic Times reported.
In 2013, KKR spent around $200 million to buy an undisclosed stake in Gland from Evolvence India Life Sciences Fund.
Advent International, Baxter and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd are among contenders for Gland Pharma, Reuters reported last month.
An Advent spokesperson declined to comment. Gland Pharma, Baxter and Torrent Pharma did not respond to e-mails seeking comment. A KKR spokesperson didn’t respond to an e-mail.
Established in 1978 and based in Hyderabad, Gland Pharma develops and manufactures generic injectables, primarily for the US market. It also sells its products in India and other semi-regulated markets. Its manufacturing facilities are approved by the US and UK drug regulators.