Slovenian company Krka eyeing promoter stake in Unichem

Slovenian company Krka eyeing promoter stake in Unichem

Slovenian pharmaceutical company Krka, d. d., Novo mesto is in discussions to acquire the promoter’s stake in Mumbai-based Unichem Laboratories, said two people aware of the development.

Promoter Prakash Amrut Mody & family owns a 50.93% stake in the listed entity. An acquisition of this stake will trigger an open offer for an additional 26% of equity.

Unichem has a market capitalisation of Rs 2,108 crore, based on its closing share price of Rs 299.40 on the BSE Friday. The talks are going slow due to a steep fall in Unichem’s share price in the last three months — they have fallen more than 35% from a 52-week high of Rs 467 in November, when the market capitalisation was Rs 3,288 crore.

In 2017, Unichem had sold its branded business in India and Nepal to Torrent Pharmaceuticals for Rs 3,600 crore. The deal, on a slump-sale basis, consisted of Unichem’s top selling brands — Losar (cardiovascular), Unienzyme (gastrointestinal), Ampoxin (anti-infective), Telsar (anti-hypertension), and Vizylac (probiotic).

“As on date, there has been no development which requires a disclosure under the listing regulations. Company will make a disclosure if and when the same is required under the listing regulations,” said a Unichem spokesperson.

An email sent to Krka did not elicit any response till press time Sunday.

A Unichem buyout is likely to give Krka a strong foothold in markets like the US and Latin America. Internationally, Unichem has a presence in therapeutic areas like gastroenterology, cardiology, diabetology, psychiatry, neurology, anti-bacterial, anti-infectives and pain management. The company has six wholly owned subsidiaries located in the US, UK, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa and China.

(With inputs from health)