Watson Pharmaceuticals, the fifth-largest pharmaceutical company in the US, yesterday said that it had acquired the Australian and South East Asian generic drugs business of Bangalore-based Strides Arcolab for $396 million (Rs1,983 crore) in cash.
New Jersey-based Watson has acquired Ascent Pharmahealth Ltd, to become the fifth largest generic pharmaceutical company in Australia based on revenue and the second largest in terms of total molecules.
Watson also becomes the largest generics company in Singapore and gets an established commercial base in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand.
Watson currently operates in Australia through its subsidiary, Spirit Pharmaceuticals, which supplies products to third parties and has a pipeline of products, including significant patent challenges.
Watson also operates through its Willow Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, which develops, sources and markets products with an emphasis on injectables. During 2010, the Company established the Watson Pharma Company, which will now manage Ascent Pharmahealth.
Ascent is one of Australia's leading suppliers of healthcare products to pharmacies and is ranked among the top five generics companies in Australia.