Ranbaxy gets site for second Malaysian plant

India's Ranbaxy Laboratories has been manufacturing drugs in Malaysia since before anyone was talking about emerging markets. Now, it is about ready to expand on that position with a second plant in the country.

The generics company said today that its joint venture with Ranbaxy Malaysia Sdn Bhd (RMSB) has been granted a 15-acre site, where it will erect a $35 million facility. It didn't give the exact location. The company intends to manufacture tablets and capsules, primarily cardiovascular, anti-diabetic, anti-infective and gastrointestinal treatments. The company said it would have a capacity of between 1 billion and 3 billion doses a year and employ 200 workers when fully operational. RMSB's initial manufacturing facility in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia, opened in 1987 and has more than 300 employees.

T. Jeyabalan Thangarajah, managing director of RMSB, said the plant builds on three decades of experience in the country. "In addition to serving the local market, the new facility will also export products to the ASEAN markets, Middle East, Europe, Sri Lanka, China and other select nations," he said.

With generous tax laws, incentives and a location ideal for servicing Southeast Asia, Malaysia is considered a key location by many companies. Indian generics makers Cipla Medpro, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, and Biocon have plants there.

The announcement was followed by a significant bounce in the company's stock on India's exchange, up 13%, its highest surge in four years, according to Bloomberg. The company has seen its shares slide by more than 35% this year. The company has been dealing with a backlash in India against its products after announcing its $500 million settlement with U.S. authorities earlier this year over earlier manufacturing problems. Ranbaxy this week reported an unexpected loss for its last quarter that resulted, to a large degree, from a weakness in the rupee. With foreign exchange effects factored out, it had a $22 million profit for the the quarter, Bloomberg said. Its sales in North America were up 24% for the quarter.

- here's the announcement
- read more from Bloomberg

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