Sun chief eyes more deals, European and otherwise

Is 2013 the year that Sun Pharmaceutical Industries makes a European deal? Chairman Israel Makov tells Bloomberg that the Indian drugmaker is, in fact, scouting the region for deals. But then again, Makov cagily says, it's also scouting the rest of the globe.

It all depends on the sort of potential deals that crop up. "We can look at Europe, we can look at other areas of the world," Makov told the news service. "While we may have geographical priorities, you naturally have a list of opportunities come along the way."

The European question has a specific genesis: Sun has been rumored as a possible suitor for Stada Arzneimittel, Germany's leading generics maker. And Bloomberg previously reported that Sun is beating the bushes for $1 billion in financing for a European deal.

Another buyout would certainly fit within Sun's usual modus operandi. The company has bulked up via acquisition, becoming one of India's biggest drugmakers in the process. Most recently, it agreed to pay $230 million for dermatology specialist DUSA, gaining access to the skin drugs maker in the U.S. Thanks to its penchant for deals, plus Big Pharma partnerships and organic growth, Sun qualified as one of FiercePharma's fastest-growing generics makers.

The DUSA buyout fits with another of Makov's goals: Forging a strong presence in specialty pharmaceuticals. Dermatology is one of the hottest specialty areas going these days. "We are looking both for companies that will enhance our specialty-pharma focus and our geographical reach," he told Bloomberg.

If Sun is indeed in the market for Stada, it may have new competition for the deal. Actavis CEO Claudio Albrecht, set to be squeezed out as Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI) buys his company, is said to be drumming up support for his own Stada acquisition.

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