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Wockhardt aims for US takeover target

India-headquartered Wockhardt is in the final stages of acquiring US-based Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals

India-headquartered pharmaceutical company Wockhardt is in the final stages of acquiring US-based Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals, according to The Economic Times of India.

So far, Wockhardt has declined to comment on the development, but sources close to the newspaper said the deal could be in the range of USD 50m to USD 70m.

US sales currently contribute around nine per cent toward Wockhardt's revenue (approx. INR 2bn/ USD 50.8m), while Europe contributes 52 per cent.

Wockhardt's chairman Habil Khorakiwala told the Economic Times that the company was aiming to increase its revenue from the US three to four times by 2009 and that it was looking at acquisitions in the region to achieve scale.

Morton Grove employs about 300 people and manufactures and markets over 50 products in the liquid generic pharmaceuticals market. The company currently has about 11 generic drug applications under regulatory review, while it also has over 30 oral liquid, topical liquid and prescription nasal spray products in the pipeline which are scheduled to enter the market as the branded patents expire.

Wockhardt markets 21 products, including six injectable treatments, in the US under its own brand. The company is the largest Indian drug maker in the EU, with 1,500 employees and over 130 products. In H1 FY07, US product revenue was INR 1bn (USD 25.4m).

30th September 2008

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