Friday, May 4, 2007

Wockhardt will pay $265 million (Rs 1,090 crore) in cash to acquire Negma Laboratories

Wockhardt will pay $265 million (Rs 1,090 crore) in cash to acquire a research-based French pharmaceutical company,Negma Laboratories. This means a valuation of 1.8 times the sales and 9.7 times the EBIDTA. While the valuation seems reasonable, if measured against revenues, it is relatively high when one looks at the EBIDTA multiple. Wockhardt will fund the acquisition through internal accruals and debt; it has about $250 million on its books as cash. But more importantly, the acquisition gives Wockhardt a portfolio of patented products.
The management expects the takeover to reflect in its performance from the third quarter. Indian pharma companies are vying for a global presence in the branded generic drug space. Dr Reddy’s had recently acquired German generic drug maker Betapharm.
Earlier, Wockhardt acquired companies in the UK (Wallis and CP Pharmaceuticals), Germany (Esparma) and Ireland (Pinewood Labs). With this acquisition in France, the company effectively covers the whole of Europe. This acquisition helps the company get a strong foothold in the French generic market, which is valued at about $2 billion.
With this acquisition, the management has raised its estimate of group turnover by $90 million to $590 million for FY07. The European business will account for more than 60% of total revenues. The key concern, however, could be the acquisition’s impact on margins. Margins could get hit by about 100 basis points during the current year, as Negma recorded an EBIDTA margin of about 18% last year.

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