Daiichi Wins Approval to Buy Ranbaxy After Hurdles

August 6, 2008

Daiichi Sankyo Co., Japan’s third- largest drugmaker, won approval from the Indian government to buy Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. for as much as $4.7 billion after overcoming regulatory hurdles that delayed the takeover.

Daiichi Sankyo was cleared to acquire 34.8 percent of Ranbaxy from Chief Executive Officer Malvinder Singh and his family, said Yasuki Minobe, a spokesman for the Tokyo-based company. It will also offer to buy a further 20 percent from investors between Aug. 16 and Sept. 4, ICICI Securities Ltd., which is managing the tender, said in a statement.

The Japanese drugmaker agreed to the acquisition on June 11 to enter the generic-drug market, where sales are rising twice as fast as for branded medicines. Daiichi Sankyo said July 31 it was delaying the offer that had been scheduled to start Aug. 8.

Ranbaxy fell 1.9 percent to 512.65 rupees at 12:25 p.m. in Mumbai, reversing an earlier gain of as much as 3.8 percent. Daiichi gained 3.5 percent to 3,250 yen at the close in Tokyo.

The 737 rupee-a-share offer is still 41 percent more than Ranbaxy’s closing price yesterday. Daiichi Sankyo, which will also buy a portion of about $1 billion of preferential stock, will pay as much as 198 billion rupees ($4.7 billion), the company said in a presentation on June 12.

The Japanese drugmaker got approval from the Indian government yesterday to purchase shares of Ranbaxy and its unit Zenotech Laboratories Ltd., paving the way for the transaction process to proceed.

Ranbaxy agreed in October 2007 to buy 45 percent of Hyderabad-based Zenotech to gain access to the $65 billion market for biotechnology treatments. Daiichi plans to spend 850 million rupees to buy 20 percent of Zenotech from the public, as required by Indian takeover rules. The shares rose 1.3 percent to 113 rupees today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Saikat Chatterjee in New Delhi at schatterjee4@bloomberg.net.