11/29/2012 8:23:46 AM
American drug maker Merck has begun talks with the Suranas, the promoters of the unlisted Micro Labs, to purchase the company, a person with direct knowledge of the development said. “Micro Labs and Merck have shared information,” the person said. Companies share information when they are willing to negotiate a future deal and are followed later by due diligence. “As a policy we do not comment on rumours or speculations,” a Merck (named MSD in India) spokesperson said in an email response. Micro Labs did not respond to an FE questionnaire mailed to an address on its website. Micro Labs, founded in 1973 by GC Surana, a pharmaceutical dealer, has a strong presence in active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and finished formulations with a marketing and distribution network in both India and overseas. APIs refer to the raw materials used to make finished products. The company, now managed by Surana’s two sons Dileep and Anand has been growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14% to achieve a sales of R1,500 crore, roughly one-fourth from exports, the company website said. The company has set a target to achieve sales of $1 billion by 2015.
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