Abbott M&A spree boosts emerging markets share

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) is moving up on Sanofi's ($SNY) pole position in emerging markets. Thanks to a busy M&A year in 2010--including the $6.6 billion deal for Solvay Pharmaceuticals and the $3.72 billion acquisition of Piramal Healthcare's Indian pharma business--the company now has 25% of emerging-markets drug sales, The Deal reports.

That's up from 19% during the previous year, and just 6 percentage points behind Sanofi. Solvay brought along almost $3 billion in sales in leading emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil and India, The Deal reports. And the Piramal deal made Abbott into the biggest-selling drugmaker in India.

Abbott's business development group has a 50-person team that looks for possible deals, performs due diligence and analyzes buyout targets' products and pipelines. Now that developing countries have become such a focus for Abbott, the deal-scouting group has some members assigned to specific geographic areas.

The Deal takes a look at Abbott's other recent M&A, which extends beyond emerging markets. The magazine also named Abbott as the most admired biopharma dealmaker for the fourth year in a row. Will 2011 follow suit? Morningstar's Damien Conover sees this year more as a cash-building year, but Abbott VP Bill Chase says his business development group is "every it as active as we have been."

- read The Deal's piece