Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo to take control of India’s Ranbaxy

TOKYO, June 11, 2008 (AFP) – Japanese pharmaceutical group Daiichi Sankyo Co. said Wednesday that it had agreed to buy a majority stake in India’s top drug company Ranbaxy Laboratories for up to 4.6 billion dollars. The deal reflects growing efforts by the world’s pharmaceutical giants to cope with fierce competition from generic drugmakers based in low-cost economies such as India.

Daiichi Sankyo said it had entered a binding deal to acquire the stake of the Singh family, who control Ranbaxy, a leading generic drug company.

It also plans to buy a 20 percent stake from public shareholders and to acquire new shares from the Indian company with the aim of taking a stake of at least 50.1 percent.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is valued at 3.4-4.6 billion dollars, Ranbaxy is expected to become a subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo.

The deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by the end of March 2009.

The move will “complement our strong presence in innovation with a new, strong presence in the fast growing business of non-proprietary pharmaceuticals,” Daiichi Sankyo chief executive Takashi Shoda said in a statement.

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