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Wednesday, July 11, 2001

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Orchid Chem.:To expand board for IFC member

C.R.Sukumar

HYDERABAD, July 10

ORCHID Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd (OCPL) proposes to expand the strength of its board to 15 from the existing level of 14, aimed at accommodating the representative of International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington.

According to Orchid sources, IFC invested $30 million in the company's equity prompted by the company's track record in global cephalosporins business and its commitment to new value-added businesses based on regulated markets, formulations and new techn ologies.

This represents the first ever investment by IFC in a pharmaceutical operation in the entire South-Asian region, including India.

Orchid has recently issued foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) aggregating $20 million to IFC, which would be converted into equity within 18 months from the date of allotment at a price of Rs 220 per share. Orchid is also availing $10 million fro m IFC as external commercial borrowing (ECB).

These funds are being proposed to be deployed to part-finance the new projects of Orchid and to expand business operations both in bulk actives and formulations.

Sources said IFC is likely to appoint a director on the Orchid board shortly following the investment agreement singed with the company.

Accordingly, Orchid proposes to amend its Articles of Association pertaining to the strength of board and seek the consent of its shareholders at the ensuing annual general meeting.

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