India’s Zydus Cadila has pinpointed Spain as a major growth area and is buying one of the country’s leading generic firms, Laboratorios Combix.

Established in 2006, Combix has a portfolio of 17 molecules plus “a range of products that are pending launch or in the pipeline”, the Ahmedabad-based firm says. No financial details of the acquisition have been disclosed but the deal provides “the right fit for Zydus’ entry strategy” into a market, the fifth biggest in Europe, that is estimated at $1.7 billion and is growing at 21.5%. This compares to 6% for the overall pharmaceutical market in 2007.

Zydus continued by saying that the acquisition allows it to” jumpstart its business and leverage strengths in product development, a high quality, cost-competitive supply chain and operational efficiency”. Having bought into the French generics market in 2003, with the purchase of Alpharma France, an entry into Spain “forms a critical part of Zydus’ European expansion strategy”, the firm said.

The Indian drugmaker concluded by noting that it has been “sidestepping the more time consuming, green-field strategy to enter newer markets” of late. As well as the Alpharma France and Combix deals, it also acquired Nippon Universal Pharmaceuticals of Japan and Quimica e Farmaceutica Nikkho do Brasil in 2007.