India’s Dr Reddy’s has snapped up German generics firm, Betapharm, for 480 million euros ($750 million) from private equity firm 3i, marking a hefty move into Europe’s largest pharmaceuticals market and, reportedly, beating rival Ranbaxy to the door. The deal is the biggest example so far of an Indian company buying a local player in Europe or the USA.

Betapharm is the fourth largest generics company in Germany with a market share of 3.5%, and has scored the title of being the fastest growing firm of its kind in the top 10 over the last five years. Dr Reddy’s will gain a product pipeline of 145 active ingredients already on the market, particularly in the areas of cardiovascular and central nervous system drugs.

3i invested in Betapharm in March 2004 to the tune of $300 million, so has seen an impressive return on this sum in just two years. It had originally said it would hang onto its ownership for five years, but has clearly been convinced otherwise.

The deal, which will be funded via Dr Reddy’s own cash reserves and credit facilities, is expected to close during the first week of March this year.