Merck KGaA sheds GeNei unit back to founder at a loss

Germany's Merck KGaA has sold Bangalore reagents, peptides, biopharmaceuticals manufacturer GeNei back to its founder S. Chandrashekaran as part of an asset purchase transaction. The deal is valued at below INR100 million ($1.5 million)--less than a third of its original purchase price. Merck KGaA bought the unit back in 2009 for about INR350 million crore from Tamil Nadu-based Sanmar Specialty Chemicals. The writing had been on the wall for some time, given that Merck KDaA decommissioned activities at the site last summer, coming hot on the heels of the German company's acquisition of U.S. chemicals and laboratory equipment specialist Sigma-Aldrich for $17 billion last year. Chandrashekaran told the Economic Times that his company Pushkar Bioscience, which has acquired the manufacturing facilities of GeNei "will retain the GeNei brand and continue to supply quality reagents to customers while adding new products to expand the business beyond domestic market." Industry executives familiar with the matter told the newspaper that the company will also focus begin to focus on development of preclinical stage biosimilars and new molecular and protein-based diagnostics for neurological disabilities. Report