Baxter leads in $1B-plus race for India injectables maker: ET

Baxter HQ

Baxter ($BAX) wants to expand in injectables and it figures that a $1 billion-plus deal for Gland Pharma could be just the ticket. The pharma giant has emerged as the one of the front-runners to buy the injectables company, sources told The Economic Times.

Baxter and China’s Fosun Group have submitted binding bids for Gland, sources said, which would value the company at $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion. The deal would double the value of Gland in less than three years, the Economic Times reports. Gland in its fiscal 2016 results posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $80 million to $90 million.

Last month, reports said that Baxter, India’s Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Advent International, Perrigo ($PRGO) and Dr. Reddy’s ($RDY) were interested in KKR-backed Gland. But the companies except Baxter decided to bow out on deadline, according to the Economic Times story.

“With the two final offers on the table, Gland’s promoter and KKR will negotiate further to try and revise the offers upwards,” a source told the newspaper. “There is still a mismatch in the offers and the expectations but that is not unsurmountable. In a week’s time, definitive agreements could be in place.”

KKR declined to comment to the Economic Times. Baxter said that it would not comment on “others’ rumors or speculation,” a company spokesperson told the newspaper.

A deal for Gland would be a shot in the arm for Baxter’s injectables business. Baxter would inherit the Hyderabad, India-based company’s broad portfolio of the meds, which are typically harder to copy and harder to manufacture than other formulations. The Illinois-based pharma would also pick up Gland’s four manufacturing facilities in India through the deal, including those that make liquid injectable and pre-filled syringes.

The total global injectable market is estimated at about $144 billion, and the generic injectable market is estimated at $16.5 billion, the Economic Times points out, leaving ample opportunity for companies looking to expand in the sector.

Other drugmakers have already struck deals to gain ground in the market. In 2013, Mylan ($MYL) shelled out $1.6 billion for Agila, Strides Arcolab’s specialty injectables arm. And few can forget Pfizer’s ($PFE) $15 billion deal for Hospira last year. The pharma giant snatched up the company in February 2015 to build up its presence in generic injectables and biosimilars.

- read the Economic Times story

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