Ahmedabad, Dec 10: Spurred by an impressive performance which has catapulted it in league with the top five pharmaceutical companies in the country within four years of its hive-off from Cadila Laboratories, the Patel-owned Zydus Cadila Healthcare Ltd has chalked out ambitious acquisition and merger plans to further consolidate its ranking among the foremost pharma companies.
In an exclusive interview to The Financial Express, ZCHL president Ganesh Nayak disclosed that the Rs 500-crore group is already in advanced stages of negotiations for acquisition of two domestic pharma players and one foreign company. He, however, refused to disclose the names of the companies at this stage for fear of tipping off competitors.
According to Nayak, ZCHL is currently ``identifying companies which fit in with our strategy of therapeutic focus.'' It may be mentioned that ZCHL has spun off four separate divisions based on therapeutic focus - these are Zydus Cadila which is the main division with 475 representatives, Zydus Alidac which focuses on gastroenterology and has 350 representatives, Zydus Medica which focuses on cardiovasculars and has 160 representatives and Zydus Biogen which focuses on biologicals and has 55 representatives.
According to Nayak, after consolidating its position in the domestic pharmaceutical market, the group is now planning to improve its standing both in the area of bulk drugs as well as in the international market. ``For this, we have set up a Team 2000 comprising heads of bulk drugs, international business development, formulation manufacturing, R&D and F&D (formulation and development) with the objective of registering the presence of our products in advanced countries including the US, Canada, Western Europe and Japan.''
The group's state-of-the art formulations facility and R&D centre at Moraiya near Ahmedabad which is being set up an at estimated cost of Rs 150 crore and is likely to become fully operational by February 2000, is expected to provide a fillip to the group's standing in the international arena since it conforms to exacting international standards and ``can pass any inspection test with ease.''
ZCHL is planning to increase its turnover to Rs 600 crore by the next fiscal. `We aim to become one of the top three players in the pharmaceutical market in the country by 2005,'' Nayak said adding that ``for this, it is imperative for us to introduce new products to sustain our high growth rate.'' The group has already stepped up its investments in research and is working on new products which can be launched beyond 2005.
Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.