Beximco to buy majority stake in Sanofi Bangladesh | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 22, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:25 AM, January 22, 2021

Beximco to buy majority stake in Sanofi Bangladesh

The Tk 400cr transaction to be completed in 3-9 months

Beximco  Pharmaceuticals is set to acquire 54.6 per cent stake in Sanofi  Bangladesh for about Tk 400 crore, as it looks  to expand its product base and diversify into new areas.

With  this, the French pharmaceuticals giant will exit Bangladesh ending its  presence in the country that spans more than six decades.

In a  posting on the London Stock Exchange, the local pharmaceuticals maker  said it entered into a binding commitment with Sanofi Group to acquire a  majority stake in Sanofi Bangladesh.

The proposed transaction is subject to the approval of the Bangladesh Bank and completion of share purchase agreement.

The  proposed transaction will be completed within the next three to nine  months, said Beximco, one of the biggest drug-makers in Bangladesh, in a  separate statement.

"We are delighted to announce the proposed  acquisition of a majority stake in Sanofi Bangladesh," said Beximco  Pharma Managing Director Nazmul Hassan.

If approved, it will be  the second strategic acquisition in the company's history. It acquired  Nuvista Pharma Ltd (formerly Organon Bangladesh) in 2018.

"The  acquisition of Sanofi Bangladesh will serve as a strong foundation for  sustainable growth in the future through the strengthening of our  position in therapy areas where Sanofi has a strong footing," said  Hassan.

"We believe the unique and diverse portfolio of Sanofi  will complement our existing product range and drive significant revenue  growth for the company."

The transaction value would be $48.5  million in minimum and $55 million in maximum depending on cash reserves  on the day of closing, said Salman F Rahman, vice-chairman of Beximco  Group, in a WhatsApp message.

Shares of Beximco Pharma rose 1.48 per cent to Tk 198.20 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday.

The  news came as Sanofi, which owns 54.6 per cent shares of Sanofi  Bangladesh, has been trying to leave Bangladesh after failing to compete  with

domestic companies. Its manufacturing capacity has not expanded  for many years. Sanofi's share in the country's pharma market is less  than 2 per cent.

The industries ministry holds 25.36 per cent  stake in Sanofi Bangladesh, and Bangladesh Chemical Industries  Corporations owns 19.96 per cent shares.

Sanofi has been operating  in Bangladesh since 1958. It merged with various entities to form  Sanofi-Aventis in 2004. In 2013, it was renamed Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd.

The company announced its intent to sell its stake in Sanofi Bangladesh in October 2019.

With  more than 800 employees and approximately 100 branded generic products,  Sanofi Bangladesh has a strong presence in cardiology, diabetes,  oncology and dermatology segments.

Sanofi supplies its global  brands of vaccines, insulins and chemotherapy drugs to Bangladesh  through direct imports, which the group will continue to distribute  following the completion of the proposed transaction, said Beximco in  its posting on the London Stock Exchange.

In the year that ended  in December 2019, Sanofi Bangladesh generated Tk 387.95 crore in  revenue. Its profit before tax was nearly Tk 50 crore. Sanofi had gross  assets of nearly Tk 610 crore.

In a statement, Sanofi Bangladesh  said, "The decision to sell its share in Bangladesh is as a result of  Sanofi's global business strategy."

The statement said Beximco  Pharma was selected as Sanofi Bangladesh's preferred bidder and had had  the opportunity to complete its due diligence enquiries as part of the  sale process.

"Across the world, Sanofi regularly assesses the  best ways in which to serve our customers. Accordingly, we have  carefully selected Beximco Pharma that will continue to build on  Sanofi's legacy through investments and to grow the business to provide  more patients with increased access to Sanofi's products across  Bangladesh," said Muin Uddin Mazumder, managing director of Sanofi  Bangladesh.

In its postings on the LSE, Beximco said Sanofi  Bangladesh is a strong strategic fit for Beximco Pharma, with the  potential to generate opportunities for long-term value creation for  both companies, providing a strong foundation for sustainable growth, as  well as enhancing the company's corporate reputation within the global  territories it operates.

"The proposed transaction would enhance  and accelerate Beximco Pharma's strategy to consolidate its position as a  leading pharmaceutical company in Bangladesh by expanding its core  capabilities and product offering for the local market."

Sanofi's  manufacturing facilities, which are spread over an area of 25 acres, are  located near Beximco Pharma's manufacturing facility in Tongi.   

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