Sun Pharma said to be in talks to buy Intas for $2.3B

Sun Pharma Managing Director Dilip Shanghvi

India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is said to be on the hunt again for another major acquisition and is said to be in talks to buy its domestic rival Intas Pharmaceuticals for as much as $2.3 billion.

DealStreetAsia, citing sources, said in an exclusive report that the two companies are discussing a cash and stock deal, which would be Sun's second-largest buyout following its acquisition of Ranbaxy for $4 billion in March.

The report said Sun has hired Kotak Mahindra as its adviser for the deal and Intas has hired a firm based in Mumbai, but did not disclose the name.

Intas Pharma's CFO Jayesh Shah told the news site that the report was "baseless" and they "completely" denied a deal was in the works, while Sun declined to comment.

Intas was created in 1976 in Ahmedabad and makes treatments for a variety of ailments including central nervous system diseases and products in the fields of cardiovascular, gastroenterology, urology, pain management, animal health care, oncology and biotechnology, according to the report.

Intas hopes to become the first Indian company to sell biosimilars to the U.S. market with its Neulasta drug that increases white-cell counts.

Sun has been in the news most recently for several warning letters it has received from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Sun and Dr. Reddy's ($RDY) are two of the 7 Indian companies that have received FDA warning letters this year, according to figures cited in a Times of India report. Others include Unimark Remedies, Pan Drugs, Spira Labs, Mahendra Chemicals, Cadila and Micro Labs, the report said.

- here's the report from DealStreetAsia
- and one from the Times of India