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Aventis says Chiron venture termination may hit growth

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Aug. 27

AVENTIS Pharma Ltd has said that the termination of its joint venture with Chiron Corp - for the manufacture of the anti-rabis vaccine - will have a `significant impact' on the medium term growth perspective of the company taking into consideration the importance of these agreements.

Aventis had entered into a joint venture agreement in April 1998 with Chiron Corporation of the US for the manufacture of the anti-rabies vaccine, Rabipur and for the grant of distribution rights in India to the company for certain Chiron vaccines.

The company and Chiron subscribed to shares in an Indian company called Chiron Behring Vaccines Pvt Ltd (CBVPL).

Aventis holds 49 per cent of the paid-up share capital of CBVPL and the balance is held by Chiron. CBVPL manufactures Rabipur at its plant in Ankleshwar, Gujarat.

Following the change in control of the company due to Sanofi-Synthelabo, France acquiring the majority stake in the parent company, Aventis, France, has notified Chiron of the change in control as required by the joint venture agreement.

Chiron is thus required to inform the company within a period of six months whether it proposes to acquire the shares held by the company in CBVPL.

In a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange, Aventis has said, that it is unable to anticipate the reaction of Chiron, its partner in the venture.

The company has said that enforcement of these provisions — which include a buy out of the company's stake in CBVPL and termination of the distribution agreement and the company's rights there under — even if the company were to receive compensation for the termination of the considered contractual relations relating to the joint venture, could have a significant impact on the activities profile and on the medium term growth perspective.

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