Icelandic generic drugmaker Actavis has hit the acquisition trail again and bought a manufacturing plant in India.

The plant, which is in Chennai, has been sold by Grandix Pharmaceuticals, and gives Actavis its own low-cost manufacturing facility to develop and make drugs for its US and European markets. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Actavis also noted that it intends to boost capacity at the new plant to around four billion tablets over the next 18 months and will use the site to relaunch older products which need a "lower cost case to be competitive in the international market." The firm also announced that it has opened a new active pharmaceutical ingredients facility in India where it hopes to develop 10-15 new products a year.

These deals are not Actavis' first forays into India as the group bought Lotus Laboratories, a contract research organisation based in Bangalore, in February 2005. Lotus has the capacity to complete over 160 bio-equivalence studies a year "and the ability to reduce the group’s R&D expenditure,” Actavis noted.

It is highly unlikely that the Indian deals mark the end of Actavis' spending and chief executive Robert Wessman has told Bloomberg that the firm is making a bid to acquire majority stake in Romanian drugmaker Antibiotice. He claimed that over 20 firms are bidding to get hold of a 53% share of Antibiotice but with so many interested parties, the price is likely to rise to the point where Actavis pulls out. The Romanian firm's market value is thought to be in the region of $300 million

Actavis search to build up local manufacturing operations all over the world has seemed relentless since it was thwarted in a bid to buy Croatia’s Pliva by Barr Laboratories. In the last month alone, it has acquired US specialty generics firm Abrika Pharmaceuticals in a deal that is potentially worth $235 million, and bought a majority stake in Russian manufacturing company ZiO Zdorovye.