India's Glenmark puts contraceptive business up for sale, paper reports

Indian drugmaker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has put its oral contraceptives unit on the block and is in talks with potential buyers, The Economic Times reports. With contraceptive products a growing specialty business, Glenmark may get its share of interest.

One of the potential bidders Indian media cites is Actavis ($ACT), the U.S.-based generics maker that just won final regulatory approval for its buyout of the Irish pharma Warner Chilcott. Among Warner's specialties is women's health, including contraception. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA), which just launched its latest hormonal contraceptive product, is another.

Glenmark has a range of generic hormonal contraceptives, which are made at its factory in Goa, India. An anonymous analyst told the Times that Glenmark's contraceptive products come with high margins because they require complex manufacturing technology. Whether the sale would come with the factory isn't clear, the newspaper notes.

"Besides some domestic players such as Sun Pharma and Lupin, global companies Teva, Actavis and Sandoz would be interested in acquiring the entire product range ... to consolidate their position in the U.S. market," Elara Capital analyst Aarthisundari Jayakumar told the newspaper.

Glenmark's contraceptive business has made news in a less positive way of late. The company pulled 7 lots of its hormonal birth control pills last year after discovering that they had been mispackaged. The recall was one in a series involving mixed-up birth control pills from companies such as Pfizer ($PFE) and Novartis' ($NVS) Sandoz unit.

- see the Times story

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