Novartis to increase stake in Indian subsidary

With its eye on increasing its presence in emerging markets, Novartis has made a tender offer to acquire an additional 40 percent stake in Indian subsidiary Novartis India. Novartis is offering Rs 351 per share--a premium of 27 percent to the closing share price on March 24 and a 35 percent premium to the company's average share price over the last month. If successful, the $87 million deal would give Novartis a 90 percent stake in its subsidiary.

India's booming pharmaceutical industry grew at a healthy 20 percent clip last year. The promise of kind of growth has attracted many big pharma companies to emerging markets such as India. Novartis India is particularly focused on growing the company's business in the subcontinent's rural villages--untapped areas which are projected to make up 20 percent of the Indian pharma market by 2015.

- here's Novartis' announcement