Cipla to raise Rs1500 crore; eyes Chinese partner

Cipla plans to raise Rs1,500 crore either by issuing foreign currency convertible bonds or through global depository receipts, its shareholders were told at the annual general meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday. The proceeds will be used to clear its debt as well as finance its capital expenditure. 

Addressing meeting, chairman and managing director Y K Hamied said the pharmaceutical company has debt of Rs800 crore and plans to invest Rs500-600 crore in the next two years. 

''We will also require Rs 300 crore of working capital for the next two years. Our new plant at the SEZ in Indore is also under construction. The money we raise will be used for these purposes,'' he said. 

After taking a hit of Rs228 crore in foreign exchange losses last year, Cipla has changed its hedging policy. Hameid said the company is now hedging all its loans and covering all net exports on a monthly basis, due to the fluctuations in the currency market.

He also said Cipla is looking for opportunities in China to partner with a company in the biosimilar space. This follows the company's pull-out from the Bangalore-based Avestagen, which is also in the biosimilar space. ''We are reviewing opportunities in China mainly for cancer biosimilars. We are also looking at joint ventures in other niche areas both in India and abroad,'' Hamied said. 

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