Germany’s Fresenius has acquired a 73.3% stake in Indian oncology specialist Dabur Pharma in a deal worth 139 million euros.

The Bad Homburg-based group says that its Fresenius Kabi unit is continuing its growth strategy in intravenously administered drugs by paying out 8.78 billion rupees or 76.50 per share in cash to get the stake. In accordance with Indian regulations, Fresenius also announced a public offer to acquire up to a further 20 % shareholding at the same price and it has entered into an agreement with a third party to secure the participation of 2.4 % of Dabur Pharma's share capital.

Dabur Pharma, headquartered in New Delhi, makes generics and active pharmaceutical ingredients to treat cancer. It holds a substantial number of drug registrations in Asia, Europe and the USA and says it is one of the few manufacturers worldwide to hold international registrations “for all steps within the manufacturing process of cytostatic agents”. Dabur Pharma operates two production facilities in India and one in the UK, as well as an R&D centre near New Delhi that meets European and US standards.

Dabur Pharma had sales of more than 41 million euros in the fiscal year ended March 2007) and it employs about 960 people. It will supply Fresenius Kabi’s compounding centres in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America where patient-specific formulations of IV drugs and parenteral nutrition are being prepared for cancer patients, the firms said.

The deal will be entirely debt-financed from funds that have already been procured, the Germany-headquartered firm added, and will be accretive to earnings in two to three years. The deal is expected to close at the beginning of the third quarter of 2008.

Dabur Pharma founder and director Anand Burman told India’s Economic Times that “to drive the future growth of the company, it was important to integrate with somebody who has global reach”. He added that there are over 20,000 drugmakers in India and “the industry has to consolidate. The option of stand-still does not exist in today’s dynamic industry. Companies have to change and adapt, otherwise they will lose market share.”

Fresenius Kabi achieved sales of 2.03 billion euros last year and operating profits of 332 million euros. The parent group's turnover in 2007 was approximately 11.4 billion euros.