Warburg Pincus-backed Laurus Labs buys South African firm

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Indian pharmaceuticals company Laurus Labs Ltd on Wednesday said it has acquired a wholly owned unit of South Africa-based Aspen Pharmacare.

Laurus Labs said in a stock market disclosure that the acquisition of Phekolong Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd will help the Indian company gain access to South Africa’s antiretroviral sector that caters to people suffering from HIV infection.

According to the United Nations AIDS agency, the African nation accounts for 19% of the global number of people living with HIV.

Laurus Labs will pay 75,500 rand (about $5,100) for the acquisition, which is subject to conditions and is likely to be completed by the end of November.

The company makes generic bulk drugs for therapeutic areas of antiretroviral and Hepatitis C. It also makes active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in oncology and other therapeutic areas.

Laurus Labs, founded by Satyanarayana Chava, set up its first R&D centre in Hyderabad in 2006.

The drugmaker was listed on the stock exchanges in December 2016. The initial public offering enabled private equity firm Warburg Pincus and venture capital investor Eight Roads Ventures (formerly Fidelity Growth Partners) to make a partial exit while Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe sold its entire stake in the share sale.

Other Indian pharmaceuticals companies have also been making acquisitions in South Africa in the past.

Earlier this year, Cipla Ltd acquired a 30% stake in South African company Brandmed (Pty) Ltd. Last year, Cipla had agreed to acquire South Africa’s Mirren (Pty) Ltd to strengthen its foothold in the African nation for 450 million South African rand (Rs 228 crore or $33 million).

In late 2017, Strides Pharma Science Ltd agreed to acquire a 55% stake in South Africa-based Trinity Pharma Proprietary Ltd for Rs 27.5 crore ($4.3 million) in an all-cash deal. Source: VC Circle

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