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Nicholas buys ICI’s drug business for Rs 70 c

Pharmaceutical major Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. (NPIL) has acquired the pharmaceutical business of ICI (India) Ltd. For Rs 70 crore in an all-cash deal, on a going concern basis. The amount includes Rs 14 crore towards acquiring net current assets of ICI and Rs 1 crore to NPIL by ICI towards transaction costs. The deal includes ICI’s key brands and its manufacturing facility at Ennore, near Chennai, with 150 employees.//

Announcing the deal, Mr Ajay Piramal, Chairman, NPIL, said that with the latest acquisition, the company had become the number one player in the cardiovascular segment. ICI’s pharma sales amounted to Rs 69 crore in 2000-2001. This is the second acquisition by the company in the past two years. In 2000, it had acquired Rhone-Poulenc India.

It is also the latest in a series of acquisition by the company, vaulting it into the league of Rs 1,000-crore pharma firms.The acquisition of the ICI business brings with it key brands in the cardiovascular segment, such as Tenormin, Inderal, Zestril and Tenochlor, which will catapult NPIL to the number one position in the Rs 1,300-crore India cardiovascular market. The other players in the segment are Cipla, Zydus Cadila, Torrent Pharmaceuticals and Sun Pharmaceuticals.

Mr Piramal said, “This acquisition is significant for our presence in high-growth segments such as cardiovascular, central nervous system and critical care segment. The niche or speciality bulk drugs that are exported by the business have no competition from India and limited international competition.” ICI’s pharma business has about 357 employees, including a field force of 200.
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