AstraZeneca confirms de-listing from Indian bourses

AstraZeneca Pharma India, the Indian unit of Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB, confirmed on Tuesday that it was delisting from the exchanges after the company's board approved a proposal from promoter AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB, Sweden to this effect.

In a communication to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the company said, "Pursuant to and in accordance with Regulation 8(1)(a) of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Delisting of Equity Shares) Regulations, 2009, the delisting proposal received from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB, Sweden, the promoter of the company, vide their letter dated March 1, 2014, was considered and approved by the board of the company at its meeting held on March 15, 2014."

Analysts said this move was expected since there was little point for the company to stay listed on multiple stock exchanges. From the shareholders' perspective too, the move makes sense since the company's stock has not been doing too well given the change in the market scenario and especially with the price controls imposed on products coming under the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines).

Shares of AstraZeneca Pharma India Ltd dropped 4.23 per cent in the morning trade on Wednesday with investors uncertain about its proposed delisting process.

On Tuesday, Astrazeneca Pharma stock closed at Rs1,192.35 on BSE, up 2.8 per cent from its Friday's close (Monday was a holiday). It touched a high of Rs1,248 a unit, up 7.6 per cent in intra-day trading on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals AB holds about 75 per cent stake in the Indian unit. The Swedish parent, which wrote to the Indian company on 1 March asking it to hold a board meeting to approve a voluntary delisting, was expected to come out with an open offer for purchasing the outstanding shares.

The Indian unit deferred the decision last week after seeking more details on the proposal from the parent.

At 1pm, Astrazeneca Pharma was trading at Rs1,148 on BSE, down 3.72 per cent from its previous close, while the BSE benchmark Sensex rose 0.1 per cent to 21,854.42 points.