Stories coming out of India are claiming that GlaxoSmithKline’s plan to buy a 5% stake in Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has stalled and the latter is in talks with Pfizer to sell off one of its businesses.

First up, the Economic Times, quoting two people familiar with the matter, notes that last year, GSK was in discussions to buy into Reddy Holdings, which in turn owns 23% in Dr Reddy’s. This would have translated into a stake of about 5% in the drugmaker but it appears that the talks have broken down.

The firms have strengthened their relations following the signing of a deal in June last year which gave the UK drug giant exclusive access to Dr Reddy’s portfolio and future pipeline comprising more than 100 branded pharmaceuticals across therapeutic areas such as diabetes, cancer and pain management, in emerging markets. Observers told the newspaper they were surprised that such a small stake had been offered up for sale.

Meantime, Dr Reddy’s reiterated its stance in a statement to the Economic Times that no part of Dr Reddy’s is up for sale, “including any business, part or whole, equity or any asset”. If anything, a spokesman said, “we are looking at acquisitions that will add to our depth in our key priorities – our five core markets (the USA, India, Germany, the UK and Russia & CIS) and capability portfolio”.

However Indian media group NDTV claims it has learnt from “three independent sources” that Dr Reddy’s has initiated talks with Pfizer to sell its Indian branded formulations business. The discussions are reportedly at a preliminary stage but “people in the know” say they are gathering momentum. The Indian group has denied the NDTV report.