Sanofi has been weighing strategic options in Bangladesh for several weeks, and now it’s decided to leave the country, an executive told reporters.
The drugmaker’s local managing director Muin Uddin Mazumder this week said the company is selling its assets there and plans to exit within 12 to 18 months, the Daily Star reports. The Bangladeshi government owns 45.36% of the company’s local outfit, while Sanofi owns the remaining 54.64% stake.
Sanofi's not selling out its 1,100 employees in the country, though, Mazumder said. The drugmaker plans to unload its stake only to a buyer that pledges to keep employees on the payroll, he said. Sanofi hasn't been in touch with any potential buyers, though, he added.
Last month, a Sanofi spokesman told FiercePharma the company was considering strategic options in the country, adding that “as a responsible company, our employees’ interests will always remain our priority.” The decision comes after new Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson took up the reins last month.
Sanofi's emerging markets sales grew 7.5% last year to more than €10 billion, helping offset declines elsewhere.
Mazumder told reporters it’s a “global decision” to exit the country and doesn’t reflect local performance, the Daily Star reports. The decision comes early into Hudson's tenure after he joined the French drugmaker from Novartis. So far, he's been on a “listening tour” of Sanofi sites in various countries, and he's now developing a strategy to present at an investor event in December.
Aside from the move in Bangladesh, Sanofi recently said it’s cutting jobs in Japan through voluntary early retirements. But it’s also expanding elsewhere by opening a $47 million headquarters in the U.K. and unveiling plans for a new shared services site in Hungary.