Cipla buying Brazilian distributor for beachhead there

India's Cipla has made yet another in a series of deals that expand its international reach for both production and distribution. This time, the low-cost specialist is buying a two-year-old distribution company in Brazil to get its products into that country.

Cipla in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange today said its U.K. subsidiary has a deal to buy Duomed Produtos Farmaceuticos for 2.6 crore rupees ($418,000). It said that Duomed was formed in 2013 and has approval from Brazil's ANVISA and other health regulators to import and distribute drugs in the country.

Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena

Cipla has been establishing, or strengthening its position around the world in the last year. In February, the Indian company said its U.K. subsidiary would invest $15 million in a joint venture with Morocco's Societe Marocaine De Cooperation Pharmaceutique (Cooper Pharma) and The Pharmaceutical Institute (PHI). Cipla has had a partnership with them for a decade but will hold a 60% stake in the JV, which will start by distributing Cipla products but will also build a manufacturing plant. Cipla CEO Subhanu Saxena called Morocco "an attractive pharmaceutical market in the African continent."

That deal followed one in the fall in which Cipla said it was working with "its existing Iranian distributor to establish a manufacturing facility in Iran." There were no details, but Cipla reported it would contribute machinery, equipment and technical know-how over the next three years, an investment it put at about $36.5 million. For that, it said it will get a 75% ownership in the new operation. Several months earlier, it said it had acquired a 51% stake in a pharmaceuticals manufacturing and distribution business in Yemen that it refused to identify. It said it was paying $21 million up front and then making milestone payments over three years if sales goals were hit.

- here's the filing
- here's a BusinessToday story

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