Major pharma companies in race for acquiring RPG Life Sciences

It is learnt that these companies have started initial talks with different merchant bankers to explore the business opportunities in a post-acquisition scenario.

Says RPG group spokesperson Mani Shankar Mukherjee: “We are not in position to confirm any development on this front. Market speculations are there for quite some time. We do not want to comment on market rumours.“

But sources close to the development say as usual, takeover tycoon Ajay Pirmal is ahead in the discussions. It is believed that the first round of talks is already over between NPIL and the RPG group.

Wockhardt, which is currently bidding for CP Pharmaceuticals in Europe, is also actively looking for acquisitions in the domestic market.

The promoters hold 50.3-per cent stake in RPG Life Science, while domestic financial institutions hold 15 per cent. The rest is held by the public and by other corporate bodies. RPG Life Science has three plants located in Ankleshwar, Pune and Thane. The company has also taken a part of Hindustan Antibiotics for the production of vitamin B varieties.

As part of the RPG group's plan to quit from non-core business, the group had sold its agro-chemical business in November 2001 to an Italian company, Isagro SpA. The company's financial profile does not appear very satisfactory over the past few years. The turnover has been dwindling and the margins are being squeezed.