Sanofi animal health deal puts it in India

Sanofi's animal health division will buy the animal health operations of India's Dosch Pharmaceuticals Private--courtesy of Sanofi.

Sanofi ($SNY) has found something to like about its prospects in India besides the country's huge population of potential drug consumers. The country also has a lot of livestock that need drugs, too.

In another M&A deal in the animal health arena, Sanofi's animal health division, Merial, will buy the animal health operations of India's Dosch Pharmaceuticals Private. Terms were not disclosed, but the French drugmaker says it picks up 86 drugs and a sales force of 279 people in one of the world's largest and fastest-growing animal health markets.

The company claims this year that the market for animal health products in India will tally more than €350 million ($464 million) and is growing by double digits each year. It says India has the largest herd of cattle and buffalo in the world, the second-largest herd of sheep and goats, and ranks fifth in poultry.

Sanofi last year said it would start looking for small acquisitions to build up its animal health operation after a plan to merge it with the animal unit of Merck ($MRK) got scuttled because of regulatory opposition.

There has been a fair amount of M&A action this year involving animal health. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Pfizer ($PFE) would spin off a 20% share of its animal health unit in an IPO for about $4 billion, rather than sell the operation outright. On a smaller scale, Germany's Bayer in September said it would buy the animal health unit of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries ($TEVA) for $145 million. That was announced a couple of days after up-and-coming generic drugmaker Perrigo ($PRGO) announced that it was buying Sergeant's Pet Care Products for $285 million.

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