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NPIL to acquire Rhodia's inhalation anaesthetics biz

Our Bureau

Mumbai , Dec. 17

PHARMA company Nicholas Piramal India Ltd (NPIL) has got the green signal from its board to acquire the global inhalation anaesthetics (IA) business of Rhodia Organique Fine Ltd (Rhodia), UK.

The acquisition made for a consideration of $14 million (Rs 61.5 crore) will give NPIL a growth platform in the global hospitals and critical care business.

In a communication to the BSE, the company said that its board of directors had, in a meeting on Friday, approved the acquisition. The business, which clocked a sale of an estimated Rs 61 crore in 2003, would strengthen NPIL's presence in the niche global IA market.

The acquisition also gives NPIL access to the manufacturing technology and facilities, as well as the global sales and marketing rights for two IA products — Halothane and Isofluorane. NPIL already has a presence in the IA segment through its acquisition of Halothane from ICI Pharma in 2002.

NPIL will gain access to Rhodia's sales and marketing network of exclusive pharma distributors in over 90 countries — including the US, Europe, Japan, Australia and numerous emerging markets, the company communiqué said. However, top brass told analysts that NPIL was not acquiring the manufacturing facility, land and employees supporting the business.

NPIL will seek to relocate production and manufacture both Rhodia's IA products in India, at its bulk drug facilities in Chennai and Hyderabad, a company official said.

The company is also setting up a branch office in the UK to support the business. However, till such time that the necessary regulatory clearances are got in India for the relocation, Rhodia would continue to manufacture the two products for NPIL at the former's UK facility, NPIL officials said.

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