Dr Reddy's denies stake-sale rumors

Dr Reddy's Laboratories says its founders aren't planning to offload their 26 percent stake in the company. Over the past week or so, Indian investors have been bidding up the stock on talk that a major multinational drugmaker might snap up that minority interest.

Big Pharma types including GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Merck and Sanofi-Aventis have been among the rumored tire-kickers at Dr Reddy's. But Pfizer is still in the throes of its Wyeth buyout, and Merck hasn't closed its deal with Schering-Plough.

True, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis have been on the acquisition trail, especially in emerging markets like India--and for generics makers like Dr Reddy's. What's more, Glaxo recently agreed to market 100 of Dr Reddy's branded generics in emerging markets outside India. But Glaxo has denied interest in buying into Dr Reddy's, the Times of India reports.

So does this rumor have a grain of truth or not? At least one Indian analyst believes that even if it's not true, it should be. "Dr Reddy's is a prized asset and a well-reputed company whose brand is known across the world," PricewaterhouseCoopers India associate director Sujay Shetty told the Times. "So whoever has India and generics close to their heart and as part of their growth strategy cannot afford to give the company a miss." Anyone?

- read the Times story
- get more from Reuters