04/09/2015 2:13 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Cipla Pharma To Buy US Firms For $550 Million

A pharmacist is seen working in a lab where medicines are being produced at a Cipla manufacturing unit on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, Thursday, Feb 9, 2012. Efforts by India and the European Union to strengthen trade are threatening India's ability to deliver life-saving medicines to the world's poorest, analysts say as the two sides resume protracted negotiations on a free-trade pact. Health industry workers and activists worry that India may bow to EU demands for strict intellectual property protections and investor guarantees, which could result in the slow poisoning of its own generic pharmaceutical industry. India's $26 billion drug industry has become an immense profit engine, growing at 15-25 percent a year _ but also a lifeline for millions of patients in poor countries, many in Africa, unable to pay sky-high Western prices to treat illnesses that include HIV, malaria, asthma and cancer. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Cipla Ltd (CIPL.NS) said on Friday it has agreed to buy two generics businesses in the United States in all-cash deals worth $550 million, as part of an effort to boost its presence in the world's largest generics market.

The company, India's fourth-largest drugmaker by sales, is buying InvaGen Pharmaceuticals Inc and Exelan Pharmaceuticals Inc, which had combined sales of $225 million in the twelve months to June 2015, it said in a statement.

The deals will give Cipla access to number of products in the areas of anti-infectives, diabetes and central nervous system disorders, it said. Cipla will get a manufacturing plant in the United States, its first, with the InvaGen acquisition.

Shares in Cipla, a pioneer in India's emergence as a force in generic drugs, climbed after the announcement, extending gains to as much as 4 percent, while the Nifty was trading down nearly 2 percent.

The United States makes up only about 8 percent of its total sales so far, but Cipla expects it will make up a fifth of its overall sales by 2020, Chief Executive Subhanu Saxena told Reuters in June.

The ramp up of the U.S. business is aimed at reducing its reliance on emerging markets such as India, China and Brazil that currently contribute about 80 percent to its overall revenue.

The Economic Times newspaper earlier reported that Cipla's acquisitions in the United States would also include privately held rival Hetero Drugs' unit Camber Pharmaceuticals Inc.

But Hetero said in a statement that the company would continue to strengthen its presence in the United States through its unit Camber.

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