Sun and Ranbaxy now a couple as last hurdle cleared for India's top drug company

Sun Pharma managing director Dilip Shanghvi

A year almost to the day since the announcement, Sun Pharmaceutical and Ranbaxy Laboratories are finally free to tie the knot. It came down to the high court serving two of India's states in the remote north of the country to allow the marriage to be finalized and create India's biggest drug company.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued an oral ruling removing the last barrier to the $4 billion merger that now ranks as the largest in the Asia-Pacific region. It also makes the combined company the world's fifth-largest generics maker.

The parties involved still had to wait for the actual certified copy of the order, but the companies had indicated earlier they were ready to sign the papers as soon as the last roadblock was removed. Sun already had been divesting itself of properties required by various global regulatory bodies before they would give their blessings.

Sun bought then-troubled Ranbaxy from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo on March 6 last year, after which Sun had to deal with a series of Ranbaxy plant closures in the wake of U.S. FDA adverse rulings on many of its drugs for quality lapses.

None of the parties had an immediate comment on the final action, but the India stock exchange toasted the couple by increasing share values.

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