fizer has approached “several Indian drugmakers” with a view to establishing alliances, according to one of the country’s newspapers.

The Economic Times has reported that the New York-based giant has made contact with Zydus Cadila, Emcure, Intas Pharma and Mankind Pharma, but those firms have not responded favourably to the offers, the paper said, citing a senior industry executive. The latter individual, who requested anonymity, added that while the US firm has approached some of these companies directly, it “chose to send feelers to the rest”.

The ET quoted another person as saying that “Pfizer approached Mankind Pharma with a lucrative offer, valuing the India company at $1 billion”. However the latter firm’s managing director, RC Juneja, denied that any multinational firm had approached it with an offer, while the other three firms did not respond to the claims.

Pfizer has already increased its presence in India this year and in May it signed deals with Aurobindo Pharma and Claris Lifesciences to boost its presence in generics as well as in emerging markets. Outright acquisitions are less likely, the ET noted, as most Indian drug companies are family-owned and are reluctant to sell their businesses, the Singh brothers who sold their entire stake in Ranbaxy to Daiichi Sankyo last year being a notable exception.