German generic drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel has turned its gaze eastwards and acquired Russia’s Makiz in a deal that could be worth up to 135 million euros.

Makiz was owned by a consortium private investors – Makiz-Pharma, Skopinpharm and Biodyne Pharmaceuticals – and Stada’s Russian subsidiary has done the deal, the financial terms of which will see it pay a minimum of 125 million euros, less debt. This could rise to the 135 million mark, depending on Makiz’ sales and earnings for 2007.

Stada says that 2006 saw Makiz’ sales jump 102% to 51.5 million euros, while net income was 7.1 million euros, an increase of 104%. It currently markets over 50 products with “off-patent active ingredients” which treat cardiovascular disease, central nervous system ailments, tuberculosis and urology. 30 more drugs are currently awaiting approval for the Russian market.

Makiz has more than 600 employees, a third of which work in sales and marketing, and has two production facilities – in Moscow and Ryazan – which are involved in contract manufacturing as well as producing the company’s own drugs.

Explaining the rationale behind the deal, Stada said that Russia is an important growth market and it is already active there through its subsidiaries Nizhpharm, Nizhny Novgorod and Hemofarm. Getting hold of Markiz also means that the German firm gains access to “further low-cost production units and development centres in this region”.

This is the second largest acquisition ever made by Stada, which is itself often mentioned as a takeover target as the European generics sector continues to consolidate, after the firm acquired Hemofarm last year for 494 million euros.