Indian firms in a race to buy Nasdaq-listed Sagent, report says

A slew of Indian drugmakers are in a race to buy U.S.-based Sagent Pharmaceuticals ($SGNT), the Economic Times reports, suggesting a price tag north of $500 million and competition between large generics companies and private equity.

The newspaper, citing sources, said that India's Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories ($RDY), Aurobindo Pharma, Cipla and Lupin Pharmaceuticals all want to snag the Nasdaq-listed specialty injectables maker.

However, India top generics maker, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, has shied away from any dealmaking in this case because the price looks too high, the sources told the Economic Times, which added discussions and due diligence started about a month ago.

The newspaper said that Sagent has enlisted Perella Weinberg Partners to help filter out offers and prospects. Sagent did not immediately respond to an email from the Economic Times or one from FiercePharmaAsia asking for comment.

Indian drugmaker Cipla, however, said it regularly looks at opportunities in the market, but declined any direct comment on Sagent. Other Indian companies declined to comment.

The newspaper, quoting an industry executive, said the injectables business presents both opportunity and challenges for Indian companies.

"Sagent has a tailor-made injectable sales and distribution outfit that could suit Indian companies," a senior executive told the Economic Times. "But the injectable business is getting highly competitive so the margins are getting squeezed. This is the right time to exit (for current investors), as money is available and valuations will be better."

- here's the story from the Economic Times