GSK among final bidders for Turkey's Biofarma

GlaxoSmithKline is one of three remaining bidders for the Turkish generics firm Biofarma. Bloomberg reports that GSK is competing with two other multinational companies, with a winning bidder to be chosen within two or three months.

Biofarma is expected to fetch some $600 million to $700 million. It's on the block because the investment firms Citi Venture Capital, Partners in Life Sciences and the Greek private-equity group Global Finance want to sell and hired JPMorgan Chase to make it happen. No one associated with the potential deal would comment for Bloomberg at this point.

With pharma growth slowing in mature markets such as the U.S. and Western Europe, drugmakers have increasingly been looking eastward for expansion, particularly in major markets such as China and India, but also in smaller countries that still promise above-average growth. Eastern Europe has come in for Big Pharma interest; Sanofi-Aventis, for instance, snapped up Czech drugmaker Zentiva (which happened to have bought Turkey's Eczacibasi generics firm in 2007).

Turkey's pharma market is expected to grow by 7.3 percent annually over the next several years, IMS Health has said. And besides access to the Turkish market, Biofarma also offers its generics expertise and production capacity at a time when blockbuster meds are going off patent, thus giving copycat drugs a bigger role.

- read the Bloomberg news