Mumbai-based drug maker Lupin said on Thursday that it has acquired a majority stake in Multicare Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The Philippines market is estimated at $2.5 billion and is dominated by multinational companies.

Multicare (MC), which reported revenues of 272 million Philippine peso ($5.6 million or Rs28 crore) for the year ending December 2008, is a branded generic company focused on the woman and child health segment in the local market. MC has a nation wide field force and distribution tie-ups for its portfolio of brands sourced from European majors.

The strategic partnership will provide significant benefits for both parties. MC will gain access to Lupin's existing product pipeline and manufacturing expertise, while Lupin will gain access to the established brands and supply chains in Philippines.

Dr Kamal Sharma, managing director, Lupin said, With the synergies of the two companies, we are targeting to be a top league company in the near term. MC has alliance with some multinationals and we respect the same.

Multicare President, Romeo Sy said that the partnership would be of considerable benefit to MC's position in the generics industry locally. The equity acquisition by Lupin gives us increased access to international research and development, which will further strengthen our local position, he said. Even after the acquisition, Romeo Sy will be holding a significant stake in the company and will continue as the president of the organization.

Lupin has secured global leadership position in Anti-TB and Cephalosporins and has a significant presence in the areas of Cardiovascular (prils and statins), Diabetology, Asthma and NSAIDs. For the 12 months to March 2008, Lupin's revenues and profit after tax were Rs.27, 730 million ($ 694 million) and Rs.4, 083 million ($102 million) respectively. It expects to end the current fiscal year with a revenue and net profit growth of 30-35 percent over last year aided by growth in the advanced markets and India.

Currently, around 60% of Lupin's turnover comes from its international business. Of this, about 13-14% comes from Japan, while over 30% is from the US and the European Union. India, which contributes about a third of Lupin's turnover, is expected to maintain a growth rate of more than 20-22 percent.

Lupin bought Japan's Kyowa in 2007. In 2008, it picked up stakes in South Africa's Pharma Dynamics, Germany's Hormosan Pharma and Australia's Generic Health. On the Bombay Stock Exchange, Lupin was last trading at Rs.628.90, down 0.13% over the previous close.

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