Natco signs agreement with US firm for cancer drug

Natco Pharma Ltd said it has entered an agreement with US-based Watson Pharmaceuticals to develop and market generic lenalidomide tablets, used in treating cancer, in the US market.

"Natco Pharma and Watson Pharmaceuticals confirmed an exclusive US development and license agreement to develop and commercialise lenalidomide," the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Under the agreement, both the companies would share net profit on sales. Also, the US firm would be responsible for regulatory, legal and commercial expenses related to lenalidomide tablets.

The drug is indicated in treatment of multiple myeloma, it said.

The Hyderabad-based firm has filed an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) with US health regulator, seeking its approval to market lenalidomide in the strengths of 5mg, 10mg, 15mg and 25mg, it added.

Natco's lenalidomide tablets are generic versions of Revlimid tablets, the patent of which is with Celgene, it said. Revlimid reported global sale of nearly $2.3 billion last year, it added.

On Wednesday, Natco ended 2.05% down at Rs322 on the BSE, while benchmark Sensex declined 1.19% to 19,696.48 points.


Religare to buy Piramal’s 85% stake in Indireit for Rs212 crore

Ajay Piramal is set to exit from realty-focused venture capital fund Indireit Fund Advisors by selling his 85% stake to financial services firm Religare Enterprises Ltd for Rs212 crore.

Both parties have agreed to the deal, which is likely to be inked in another 10-15 days.

Indiareit chief executive officer and managing director Ramesh Jogani holds the remaining 15% stake in the venture capital fund. Mr Jogani will hold his stake in the firm and continue in his current position even if it changes hand.

Since its launch in 2006, Indiareit Fund Advisors has so far launched three domestic funds and one offshore fund, in which private equity fund 3i is a cornerstone investor, taking its total corpus to Rs2,850 crore. It is also in the process of launching two more domestic funds.

Promoted by Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, Religare Enterprises recently acquired a 55% stake in US-based Landmark Partners, a private equity and realty fund-of-funds asset manager for $171.5 million.

Piramal Enterprises has interests in textiles, health and healthcare, glass containers, engineering and IT. It also has interests in real estate. Piramal's exit from Indiareit was prompted by conflicts of interest between the two parties over land acquisition and development.

On Wednesday, Religare Enterprises closed 0.55% down at Rs472.10 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Sensex declined 1.19% to 19,696.48 points.


Corporate India’s M&A deal value at $5 bn in 2010: VCCEdge

New Delhi: Corporate India’s appetite for growth through inorganic mode has resurfaced with mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deal value in the month of November nearing $5 billion—over three times increase over last year, reports PTI quoting a survey.

According to data compiled by research firm VCCEdge, the M&A deal value in November this year nearly trebled to $4.9 billion from $1.7 billion over the same period last year.

On a month-on-month basis, the November M&A deal volume represents a jump of over five times.

There were M&A deals worth about $16 billion in 2009, while in the year 2008, it stood at a whopping $40 billion.

The uptrend in the deal volume is reflected in the number of transactions as well, with deal count witnessing an upward trend with 59 deals against 41 recorded in the period under consideration last year.

November 2010 has seen the fourth highest monthly M&A deal value over the last twelve months.

Deal valuations witnessed a revival in line with the overall economy, as the average deal amount went up from $74 million in November 2009 to $151 million in November 2010, VCCEdge said in its monthly deal report.

A sector-wise analysis shows that in the period under review utilities and consumer discretionary were the most targeted sectors with deals worth $1.38 billion and $1.27 billion, respectively. They accounted for 53% of total M&A deal value during the month.

Other sectors, which contributed significantly to the deal value were energy ($564 million), financials, ($561 million) and materials ($507 million).

In terms of number of deals, consumer discretionary and information technology turned out to be the most active sectors with 11 and 10 deals respectively, followed by industrials with eight deals and financials and consumer staples with seven deals each.

The largest deal in November 2010 was China Huaneng Corp's acquisition of United States-based IntergenInc from GMR Infrastructure. The GMR Group acquired 50% stake in Intergen for $1.354 million in October 2008.

This was followed by Sahara India's acquisition of 100% stake in Grosvenor House for around $757 million.

The other top deal of the month was Essar Group's acquisition of 60% stake in Zimbabwe Iron & Steel for a price of $500 million.

The top five M&A deals accounted for 68% of total M&A deal value in November 2010, the report added.


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