Bayer looks to JVs, not buys, for Indian growth

After Bayer set out disappointing earnings targets for the next two years, CFO Werner Baumann told Reuters one of his strategies for fighting back--without betting the farm in the process.

Like other Big Pharma firms, Bayer is eyeing emerging markets as a source of growth now that Western markets have started to stagnate. But with so many drugmakers looking to grab share of the same fast-growing markets--China, India, Brazil and the like--acquisitions have grown expensive, Baumann said.

Bayer wants to grow in India; Baumann told Reuters his company's sales figures there aren't nearly up to par. But given pricing premiums, buyouts may not be the best option, he said. Rather, joint venturing with domestic players could allow the German drugmaker to pump up its Indian presence. Bayer has already inked a deal with Zydus Cadila to jointly market some drugs.

"You have to be sure that the money you're willing to spend on external growth has a business rationale," Baumann told the news service. He added that India is definitely a strategic market, but the company isn't willing "to pay any price that can be fetched these days."

- see the Reuters interview