Wockhardt to hive off animal health care business

Drug maker Wockhardt Ltd, intends to sell its animal health care business and is awaiting shareholder approval for a Rs1.5 billion deal. The move will help the company focus on its core businesses.

The company had announced plans for the restructuring of its corporate debt and is currently in talks with banks to finalise plans. The company is also reportedly looking at a potential recasting of some of its businesses and units.

"As a part of the company's long-term strategy to focus on core businesses and to systematically divest the non-core business to enhance the shareholders' value, it is proposed to divest the animal healthcare business," Wockhardt said in a statement to the stock exchange on Wednesday.

The business had posted operating profits of Rs180 million on net sales of Rs770 million for the year ended December 2008, according to the company.

According to media reports Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis and French firm Ventoquinol are in the process of concluding due diligence for the division.

According to CRISIL the company which had Rs37.77 billion debt on its books on Dec 31, will have to repay Rs23.77 billion in two years.

Wockhardt's shares were up 2.2 per cent to Rs90.70 at 10:30 a.m. in a firm Mumbai market