India Inc India Inc: Thursday, 05 July 2012 10:13

Indian serum firm buys Dutch vaccine maker

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Serum-InstituteOne of India’s leading vaccine manufacturers, Serum Institute of India, has acquired Dutch polio vaccine maker Bilthoven Biologicals for an estimated €32 million.

The deal with the Netherlands government gives Serum a manufacturing base in Europe and greater access to European and US markets, the company said in a statement this week.

Serum Institute will gain access to the technology and expertise for creating injectable polio vaccine Salk, it added.

The acquisition will also boost its presence in the paediatric vaccines segment, including DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus), measles and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella).

Serum, part of the Pune-based Poonawala Group, plans to invest around €70-€80 million, inclusive of the acquisition amount, over the next three years to expand Bilthoven's manufacturing capacity and meet working capital requirements.

Serum Institute, the world's fifth-largest vaccine maker in terms of volume, plans to fund its first major overseas purchase through a mix of internal accruals and debt of €20 million.

Bilthoven Biologicals, located in Bilthoven near Amsterdam, employs over 200 and has a manufacturing capacity of over 20 million doses of vaccines in a year. The Netherlands firm sells these vaccines to Europe and developing countries.

It was in the market for over a year and had a host of contenders, including a couple of Chinese and Dutch companies and a few big pharmaceutical multinational companies.

However, most of these suitors pulled out of the race as the company was registering operational losses of €30 million a year.

The government of Netherlands was looking for a strategic buyer that would retain the existing employees, turn the business around and help it grow.

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