Piramal in talks to buy Morepen OTC biz

Morepen Laboratories   shares rallied as much as 10 percent Friday after a media report indicated that Piramal Enterprises   is in talks to buy company’s OTC business. “New Delhi-based Morepen Laboratories is in talks with Ajay Piramal Group to sell its OTC (over-the-counter) business of market leading brands such as Burnol as it plans to monetise some of its mainstream brands when larger rivals look to expand their consumer product portfolio,” a piramal-healthcaremedia report said quoting unnamed sources.

“Talks with Piramal Group have advanced quite a bit. We hope to conclude the transaction within the next couple of months,” the report added. Piramal Group has been expanding its reach in OTC business through acquisitions.

Currently it is ranked 7th amongst all OTC companies in India and it aims to be a top 3 player in the OTC market by 2020. In May, its consumer products division bought four brands (Ferradol, Neko, Sloan’s and Waterbury’s Compound) from Pfizer   for Rs 110 crore. The agreement also included trademark rights for Ferradol and Waterbury’s Compound in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Ajay Piramal Group, in December 2015, acquired five trademark rights for India from Organon India and MSD BV for Rs 92 crore, which included mainly the brands Naturolax, Lactobacil and Farizym. At 10:46 hours IST, the scrip of Morepen Laboratories was quoting at Rs 26.50, up Rs 1.70, or 6.85 percent amid high volumes on the BSE.

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