GlaxoSmithKline on the prowl for acquisitions in India

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the UK's biggest pharmaceutical company is on the prowl for acquisitions in India, in line with its plans of an aggressive push into emerging markets to bolster its revenue since its exclusive patents on several of its leading drugs are soon to expire.

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty said that his company sees solid growth in India and although GSK has entered into 12 alliances in the country last year, the pharmaceutical major is looking at more acquisitions that are attractive.

The company's albendazole facility in Nashik was inaugurated yesterday.

Having reported pre-tax profits of a nearly £9 billion on revenue of £28 billion for the financial year 2009, Witty said that the company does not require money from outside sources to fund its acquisitions in India.

London-based GSK, formed through the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and Smithkline Beecham in 2000 to emerge as the world's second largest pharmaceutical company, had said in December that that it will continue to pursue acquisitions and alliances in emerging markets, as, like other drug makers, it seeks to tap rising healthcare spending in emerging economies, the new battleground for the world's top drugmakers as sales stall in Western markets. (See: Glaxo targets emerging markets for acquisitions, tie-ups)

The new middle classes of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are luring the world's top pharmaceutical groups as generic competition and disappointing new drug pipelines to replace the ones on which patents run out, erode sales growth in the United States and Europe.