Aurobindo in race to acquire generic dermatology business from Novartis
07 May 2018
Hyderabad-headquartered Aurobindo Pharma is in the race to buy the dermatology generics dermatology business of Swiss drug giant Novartis AG for about $1.6 billion.
The sale of the dermatology generics business, which novartis runs under the Sandoz brand, is in line with Novartis' plan to exit some of its not-profitable businesses.
If the deal materialises, this would be the largest acquisition of an overseas business by any Indian drug producer, after Lupin's 2015 acquisitions of Gavis Pharmaceuticals and Novel Laboratories for $880 million, in a cash-fre and debt deal (See: Lupin buys US generics drug maker Gavis for $880 mn).
Analysts feel that Aurobindo has placed an aggressive bid for low margin assets. IIFL said, "Aurobindo has operating margins more than 23 per cent. We believe that Sandoz’s dermatology business could have margins less than 16 per cent, and hence, the deal would be margin dilutive. It also seems that Aurobindo has placed an aggressive bid for the low margin assets."
Apart from the Aurobindo, other bidders include private equity firms and drug makers, with Aurobindo being the only Indian company in the fray.