Companies & Sectors
Dr Reddy's Lab set to buy Netherlands-based OctoPlus for 27.4 million euro

Dr Reddy's Lab said the company is buying Netherlands-based OctoPlus for technology and it is in the process of improving it R&D capabilities globally

Hyderabad: Pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy's Laboratories on Monday said it has decided to acquire Netherlands-based OctoPlus NV, a speciality pharmaceutical company, for about 27.4 million euros (about Rs192 crore), reports PTI.


The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the current financial year, company's vice chairman and chief executive officer GV Prasad said.


In a joint statement with OctoPlus, DRL said both the companies have reached a conditional agreement in connection with an intended public offer by DRL, or a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRL.


This is for all issued and outstanding ordinary shares in the capital of OctoPlus, at an offer price of euro 0.52 in cash for each OctoPlus share, it said.


"It is currently expected that the offer memorandum will be submitted to the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) for approval within five weeks from the date of this announcement and that the offer, if made, will commence during the first half of December," the statement said.


The offer values 100% of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of OctoPlus at euros 27.4 million, it added.


Prasad said the acquisition gives them the ability to strengthen technological capabilities in the areas of drug delivery.


"We are buying it for technology. And we are in the process of improving our R&D capabilities globally. They have strong expertise which we are interested in," Prasad said.


Total revenues of OctoPlus for the first six months of the calendar year stood at euros 4.8 million with a net loss of euros 5.8 million.


Replying to a query, Prasad said turning OctoPlus into a profitable company would take some time.


"It is not going to be immediate. We are not buying this for profit or loss. It is a long-term process. Products have to be developed and registered and go to markets," he said.


DRL is keen to further expand into the fast growing Fee for Service business and they will retain OctoPlus as a specialist standalone entity to develop speciality generics.


OctoPlus will become a centre of excellence for complex injectables with retention of highly skilled and dedicated professionals in the facility, the statement added.


The offer price represents a premium of 30% over the closing price of OctoPlus of 19th October.


"The transaction will be financed with funds readily available at Dr Reddy's. OctoPlus' identity and head office will be maintained. OctoPlus agreed to enter into a business collaboration agreement for investigational formulation research," the statement further said.


Dr Reddy's will provide OctoPlus with fee for service and milestone payments as consideration for services to be rendered by OctoPlus for a maximum amount of 2 million euros during the next six months, according to the agreement.


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Mining crisis: Goa Chamber urges RBI to restructure business loans

Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry is in discussion with senior RBI officials for restructuring of loans of businessmen from the state who had borrowed money to buy trucks and barges, which are now lying idle due to ban on transportation and extraction of ore

Panaji: The Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is in talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) urging restructuring of loans of businessmen from the state who had borrowed money to buy trucks and barges, to ferry ore, reports PTI.


GCCI President Manguirish Pai Raikar told PTI that he has been in discussion with senior RBI officials in this regard in the wake of current crisis in the mining industry.


The mining operations in the state have come to halt after Supreme Court's verdict banning transportation and extraction of ore.


The apex court has asked Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) to probe the illegalities in iron ore mining sector as pointed out by the Justice M B Shah Commission.


"We are hopeful...we would be trying to get some solution for restructuring of loans," said Raikar adding that GCCI has already sent a written request to the RBI.


The GCCI is trying to work out alternate cargo for the trucks and barges which are left jobless due to mining halt.


Raikar said Food Corporation of India (FCI) has already declared Mormugao Port Trust as a hub for export of wheat, which will help trucks and barges to carry the cargo.


"At the same time we are also thinking of alternative measures for bringing in additional cargo and getting barges involved in movement of internal cargo," he added.


The GCCI President said there are no exports of pharma products happening from the MPT as there is no certainty of availability of containers at the port.


"Although there is one container cargo ship docking at MPT, there is no certainty that it will come on a particular day. Pharma companies don't take any risk and instead channelise it through Jawaharlal Nehru Port trust (Mumbai)," Raikar said.


The exports of pharmaceutical of about Rs7000-8000 crore is happening through JNPT, Raikar pointed out.


He said companies like Shreyas Shipping and Bengal Tiger Liners are in talks with the MPT and GCCI to make Goa port a port of call.


"They would also connect us to Gujarat as well as South Cochin. By November end or December we are hopeful that the container cargo would be diverted. MPT is a mono commodity port where almost 80% of export is of iron, which is being lost now due to halt in mining," he added.


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