India’s Glenmark to sell majority stake in life sciences unit for $680 million

(Reuters) -Glenmark Pharma is offloading a majority of its stake in unit Glenmark Life Sciences for 56.52 billion rupees ($679.84 million) as the Indian drugmaker looks to sharpen its focus on its key dermatology, oncology and respiratory therapies.

Mumbai-based Glenmark Pharma will sell a 75% stake in Glenmark Life Sciences’ (GLS) to detergent maker Nirma at 615 rupees per share, a 1.8% discount to the unit’s close of 626.2 rupees on Thursday, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Nirma, whose products range from soaps to cement, will make a mandatory open offer to all public shareholders of Glenmark Life Sciences.

Glenmark Pharma will continue to hold a 7.84% stake in the company after the deal.

“This deal aligns with Glenmark’s strategic intent of moving up the value chain to become an innovative/brand-led organization, with continuous focus on our core therapeutic areas of dermatology, respiratory and oncology,” Glenmark Pharma Chairman Glenn Saldanha said.

GLS, which listed in 2021, manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) – key biologically active elements in a drug that are responsible for delivering desired health effects.

It counts drugmakers such as Aurobindo Pharma and Torrent Pharmaceuticals as clients and also exports APIs to markets, including Japan, Latin America and the Middle East.Glenmark Pharma, which has been selling non-core assets to generate cash, said the company will be net cash positive after the deal.

Kotak Investment Banking was the financial advisor to Glenmark Pharma and GLS on the deal.

Glenmark Pharma’s shares have risen more than 95% so far this year, outperforming a 21.5% rise in the Nifty Pharma index, while GLS is up 49% versus a 33.4% fall in 2022.

($1 = 83.1373 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashna Teresa Britto, Ashish Chandra, Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami)