Sanofi unit Zentiva sells plant in Slovakia, focuses on Turkey

Zentiva, a subsidiary of Sanofi ($SNY), is offloading a plant in one country and will now focus on production in another.

Zentiva has agreed to sell an API and drug manufacturing facility in Hlohovec, Slovakia, to Wood Pharma Holding, for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes the "production, packaging and distribution part of Zentiva business in respect of both Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Drug Products activities," Sanofi said. Woods will pick up the workforce and some trademarks.

Zentiva is based in Prague, in the Czech Republic, and makes generics for markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Zentiva CEO Jérôme Silvestre told The Prague Post that with the Slovakia deal done, Zentiva next year will focus on building up its generic production in Turkey. Zentiva bought Eczacıbaşı Generic Pharmaceuticals in Turkey in 2007 and then was itself acquired by Sanofi in 2008 for $2.6 billion.

Silvestre said the Zentiva plant in Lüleburgaz, Turkey has the latest production technology and about 800 employees making a broad portfolio of generics. Besides selling in Turkey, its products are exported to 34 countries, from El Salvador to Australia, he said.

Turkey is one of the hot emerging markets. A recent study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers said drug sales are poised to grow to $23.3 billion by 2023, up from $5 billion last year--provided the government makes some key moves. Much of that growth would be in exports, PwC notes.

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