China's Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceuticals said it is in the race to buy unlisted Hyderabad-based injectables maker Gland Pharma, joining Baxter International and buyout firm Advent International, for a company valued at around $1.5 billion.
In a notice to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shanghai Fosun said its interest so far was non-binding and was made known through a unit of the Fosun conglomerate, Fosun Industrial.
Gland is backed by leveraged buyout firm KKR & Co., which along with the firm's founders hold around 96% of the company, according to reported figures. For Shanghai Fosun, the purchase would open a pathway into the valuable sales and manufacturing of sterile injectable medicines now dominated by Pfizer ($PFE) following its recent Hospira purchase.
Also in the fray, Reuters reported in April, is Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharmaceuticals, which hails from the manufacturing hub of Gujarat.
KKR's 2013 original investment was about $200 million, according to Reuters, the largest ever private equity amount in the India drug industry at the time and that valued the company around $600 million.
Injectables in India have drawn attention in the past few years as firms like Jordan-based Hikma faced manufacturing quality issues with U.S-based operations in the space, and Mylan ($MYL) snapped up Indian injectables maker Strides Arcolab for $1.75 billion, which closed in 2014 and is now called Strides Shasun.