Cipla announces 3:2 bonus; to raise $200 million

Pharmaceuticals major Cipla has announced a bonus issue in the ratio of three shares for every two shares held by shareholders. The company also said it is planning to raise up to $200 million from an overseas GDR or FCCB issue.

The FII investment limit in the company has also been increased to 40 per cent. All these decisions are subject to shareholder approval.

Cipla is expected to launch its own version of the bird flu drug in domestic markets this year. The cost of the drug at Rs1,000 per ten tablets would make it cheaper than drugs currently available.

The company reported a net profit of Rs175.31 crore or Rs5.85 per share for the December quarter as compared to Rs125.67 crore or Rs4.19 per share for the prior year quarter. Total revenues increased to Rs855.07 crore from Rs637.32 crore.

For the September 2005 quarter, Cipla reported a net profit of Rs122.6 crore or Rs4.09 per share on total revenues of Rs673.23 crore.

Promoters hold a 41-per cent stake in the company while FIIs hold close to 19 per cent as of 31 December 2005. Domestic institutions hold more than 10.5 per cent and the public holds 25 per cent.

Cipla stock has been the biggest gainer among index stocks during the previous week. The stock closed at Rs561.45 (up 1.77 per cent) on the NSE on Friday.