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Wockhardt acquires CP Pharma of U.K.

By Our Special Correspondent

MUMBAI JULY 8. The pharmaceutical major Wockhardt today announced the acquisition of CP Pharmaceuticals of the U.K., to become the largest Indian pharmaceutical company in the U.K. The deal at a consideration (equity value) of 10.85 million pound sterling (Rs. 85 crores), is the largest overseas acquisition by an Indian pharmaceutical company. It will catapult Wockhardt to the ranks of U.K.'s top ten generic pharmaceutical companies, says a company release.

CP Pharmaceuticals, a leading supplier to U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS), reported sales of 34 million pound sterling in 2003.

"With a combined business of over 50 million pound sterling in the U.K., Wockhardt now has a critical size for a push into the larger European Union,'' the Wockhardt Chairman, Habil Khorakiwala, said, adding, "We will leverage Wockhardt's research and technology focus and cost effective manufacturing strengths to drive CP's European business.''

With this acquisition, Wockhardt's turnover will cross the Rs. 1,100 crore mark, with 53 per cent of revenue coming from international markets.

CP Pharmaceuticals has four key businesses consisting of a branded portfolio of hospital drugs, generics, contract manufacturing and exports. It has 225 product licences, providing the company with a significant growth potential.

It has spent over seven million pound sterling on acquiring brands in recent years. It has long standing established relationships with the U.K. hospital market and NHS purchasing authorities and major distribution groups.

Some of CP's products have a significant market share in the U.K. These include natural insulins, Hypurin Bovine (100 per cent), Hypurin Porcine (34 per cent), Hyalase (100 per cent) and Magnapen (57 per cent).

The company has strategic relationships with some of the leading international pharmaceutical, biotechnology and drug delivery technology companies for whom it undertakes contract manufacture in injectables, freeze dried products, solid dose tablet formulations as well as liquids, creams and ointments.

The company has a special manufacturing licence from MCA, which allows it to manufacture patent protected drugs under development. It also has Home Office licence for the manufacture of Schedule 1 controlled drugs (highest schedule).

CP Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Wrexham, near Manchester, and employees about 450 staff. This is Wockhardt's second acquisition in the U.K. after its first acquisition of Wallis Laboratory at Luton in 1998.

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