With Medley buy, Sanofi grabs Latin lead

It's official: Sanofi-Aventis is buying Medley, the big Brazilian generics maker. The $660 million deal will make Sanofi the biggest generics manufacturer in Latin America. And it adds yet another emerging-markets deal to the French company's recent series. "Medley constitutes a unique opportunity for Sanofi-aventis to build a strong and integrated platform for sustained profitable growth in Brazil and Latin America," the company said in a release.

With Medley's 127 generic products, Sanofi will boast a 12 percent market share in Brazil after the deal. Its share of the Mexican market--now that it's bought Laboratorios Kendrick--comes to some 15 percent. Brazil's generics market alone is expected to grow at a 20 percent annual rate over the next several years.

Like other Big Pharmas, Sanofi is gearing up for generic competition for its biggest revenue-drivers over the next several years. But unlike some of its rivals, Sanofi has opted out of the mega-merger and focused on small, strategic deals instead. The company has been focusing particularly on generics makers with a strong presence in emerging markets, where drug sales are forecast to grow at a much higher rate than in major industrialized nations such as the U.S.

- read Sanofi's release
- see the article in the Wall Street Journal