China's Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group has reportedly won a bidding war for India's privately held injectable maker Gland Pharma in a rare cross-border deal that brings together companies from two Asian powerhouses in generics manufacturing.
A trading halt to Shanghai Fosun's shares in Hong Kong signals the deal, and Reuters and the Economic Times have reported some details.
But no official announcement has been made regarding the Hyderabad-based company backed by private equity player KKR, which along with the drugmaker's founders controls 95% of Gland.
Other companies reportedly in the bidding included Baxter International, Torrent Pharma and buyout firm Advent International--with earlier reported estimates of a valuation of $1.5 billion.
The deal will test India's new rules on foreign investment in the pharmaceutical sector approved in June that allow investment of up to 74% in companies by notifying regulators of the transaction--but approval from agencies such as the Foreign Investment Promotion Board is not required. Previously, the level was set at 49% for such transactions.
India and China have had uneasy commercial ties that stem from a brief but bloody border war in 1962 that lingers over relations.
Companies such as Huawei that in the past have sought toeholds in India's software companies have faced regulatory scrutiny, and in the case of pharmaceuticals, Indian generic drugmakers repeatedly complain about active pharmaceutical ingredient imports from China dominating the market.
For Shanghai Fosun, the purchase would win it a company that operates globally and has approvals with U.S. and European regulators in manufacturing covering injectables across container-types and fillings.
- here's the story from Reuters