German generic drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel is not open to any takeover bids and is more interested in making acquisitions itself.

That is the view of chief executive Hartmut Retzlaff who told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that "we do not put any store in being taken over. There are no talks about this". The firm's shares rose sharply late last month amid rumours that Swiss giant Novartis was getting ready to prepare a bid.

Rather he noted that Stada was looking primarily to eastern Europe for acquisitions, less than a year after it purchased Russia’s Makiz in a deal worth up to 135 million euros. Mr Retzlaff's comments came days after Stada posted a 16% rise in first-quarter operating profit to 56.6 million euros. Net profits were also up 16% at 31.3 million euros, while sales climbed 11% to 399 million euros.

He also told the newspaper that the firm, which is currently the seventh largest generics firm, wants to move up to fifth place within three years.