Abbott to Buy Domestic Formulations Business of India's Piramal Healthcare Solutions

May 27, 2010

Signaling its interest to strengthen its presence in emerging markets, Abbott (Abbott Park, IL) has agreed to acquire Piramal Healthcare Ltd.’s (Mumbai, India) Piramal Healthcare Solutions business (domestic formulations) for $3.72 billion. Abbott will make an upfront payment of $2.12 billion and annual payments of $400 million during four years beginning in 2011.

“This strategic action will advance Abbott into the leading market position in India, one of the world's most attractive and rapidly growing markets," said Miles D. White, chairman and chief executive officer of Abbott, in a company release. "Our strong position in branded generics and growing presence in emerging markets is part of our ongoing diversified pharmaceutical strategy, complementing our market-leading proprietary pharmaceutical offerings and pipeline in developed markets. Emerging markets represent one of the greatest opportunities in healthcare—not only in pharmaceuticals—but across all of our business segments,” he said.

Emerging markets account for approximately 20% of Abbott’s pharmaceutical sales, according to the company. Upon completion of the deal, which is expected in the second half of 2010, the combined entity will have a market share in India of approximately 7%. Piramal Healthcare Solutions has a portfolio of branded generics with annual sales expected to exceed $500 million next year in India, according to the Abbott release. Abbott estimates the growth of its Indian pharmaceutical business with Piramal will approach 20% annually and expects it to reach sales of more than $2.5 billion by 2020. Abbott estimates the current Indian pharmaceutical market at $8 billion and expects it to more than double by 2015.

Piramal's Healthcare Solutions business will become part of Abbott's stand-alone Established Products Division. Piramal's Healthcare Solutions business employs more than 5000 people in India. Abbott currently has more than 2500 employees across all of its businesses in India.

The move follows recent deals by Abbott to increase its presence in emerging markets. Earlier this month, the company signed a licensing and supply agreement with the pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila (Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India) for a portfolio of pharmaceutical products that Abbott will commercialize in 15 emerging markets. Under the agreement, Abbott gained the rights to at least 24 Zydus products and will have an option for an additional 40 products. Abbott also formed a stand-alone established products division that is focused on expanding Abbott’s sales outside the United States.