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M&A deals to expand market presence
July, 15th 2009

Lifeline Industries Ltd engaged in the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates is aggressively scouting for promising mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as part of its inorganic growth strategy. It is now looking at units which can fit into its line of business both in India and abroad.

Viewing opportunities in the market, the company under its organic growth efforts has also invested $50 million and is currently in the process of modernizing units at Bidar in north Karnataka, Solapur and Tarapur in Maharashtra to generate more capacities and also seek US FDA certification for its Mahad plant.

Since Lifeline has made substantial investments in the last couple of years, it is now focused on a fast paced growth plan. M&As are done to synergize and increase scale of operation. Efforts are on to tap Africa, CIS, Latin America, Russia, Brazil which have good opportunity for growth. "We are gearing up for growth both through organic and inorganic paths. This is through constant expansion of capacities to offer new products besides scout for potential M&A deals", Nikunj Kanakia, chairman & managing director, Lifeline Industries told Pharmabiz.

The company will go ahead with its aggressive growth strategy this fiscal, despite the economic slowdown. There have been positive and negative fallouts of the global slow down. On the positive side, most pharma and healthcare companies are looking at low cost destinations to manufacture their products. India still remains an attractive destination for most pharma companies globally. Due to recession, the country is the most preferred market for setting up operations. On the negative side, payment cycles have gone up leading to liquidity issues for quite a few companies. But the economic slow down has given Lifeline an opportunity to focus more on its operational efficiencies, he added.

Prospects of API and intermediates' are powered by the growth in generics and demand from regulated market for outsourcing. The demand is expected to grow at CAGR of 15-18 per cent with market size between $13billion and $15 billion.

As far as growth opportunities in India are concerned, focus will be on generics market. The recent trends are drugs going off patent and rise in Contract Research and Manufacturing Services (CRAMS) due to cost advantage.

In the last decade, the market has gone through a sea of change and India is today the third largest API manufacturer in the world with the highest number of US FDA approved plants.

Now there is a reverse trend as India has emerged as an important global player from being a mere importer of API. Today, the number of Drug Master Files filed by companies here are on the rise. This change is attributed to the core competency of Indian players giving importance to R&D and upgrading the plants to international standards. This will see India's API sales in overseas markets expected to be grow higher than domestic sales.

 
 
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