India’s Ranbaxy Laboratories has acquired the Mundogen generic business of GlaxoSmithKline in Spain, consolidating its position among the top 10 global generics companies.

Commenting on the acquisition, Malvinder Mohan Singh, Ranbaxy’s chief executive, said the acquisition “is in line with our mergers and acquisitions strategy to focus on the European Union markets, where we continue to see growth opportunities.”

“The acquisition will further consolidate our presence in the rapidly growing Spanish generic market and strengthen our product portfolio," he added.

Ranbaxy's Spanish operation, Laboratorios Ranbaxy, was set up in February 2004and currently sells over 40 products in the market, including generic versions of Merck & Co’s cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin and Sanofi-Aventis’ antithrombotic ticlopidine last month. The company says it has plans to rapidly expand its product portfolio through the launch of the products in its pipeline and through the Mundogen acquisition.

The Spanish generic market is growing rapidly, according to data from IMS. As of March 2006, the value of the Spanish generic market was worth approximately 600 million euros ($750m), with an annual growth rate of 25%. Spain’s total pharmaceutical market is worth approximately 10 billion euros ($12.5bn).

Mundogen is just the latest in a series of acquisitions Ranbaxy and other Indian drugmakers have made in the European sector. In March, the company snapped up Romanian generics house Terapia for $324 million, shortly after buying GSK’s Italian subsidiary Allen SpA for an undisclosed amount.

Other major acquisitions of European generics companies by Indian drugmakers in recent months include Dr Reddy's purchase of German firm Betapharm for $570 million, the largest deal of this type to date, Torrent Pharmaceuticals acquisition of Heumann Pharma for an undisclosed sum, and Matrix Laboratories 217 million-euro stake in Belgium's Docpharma.