3/15/2013 7:53:32 AM
Claris Lifesciences Ltd. (CLAR) may be the next takeover target among Indian injectable-drug producers as a shortage of medicines in the U.S. prompts buyers to seek companies with approved manufacturing facilities. Claris could fetch more than double its $223 million market value as of yesterday, based on the median multiple of 4.1 times sales paid for Indian pharmaceutical companies in the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Ahmedabad- based company may draw the interest of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE), said India Infoline Ltd., a Mumbai-based financial-services firm. Mylan Inc. agreed last month to buy Bangalore-based Strides Arcolab Ltd. (STR)’s injectable-drug unit for $1.6 billion, paying the highest sales multiple ever for an Indian pharmaceutical company, the data show. That transaction was struck as the U.S. government seeks to alleviate a shortage of medicines. Purchasing Claris is a faster solution for a drug company than the years it could take to win U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for a new facility, Centrum Broking Ltd. said. Claris has “a ready-made facility,” Ranjit Kapadia, an analyst at Centrum Broking in Mumbai, said in a telephone interview. “There’s a scarcity of injectable facilities in the global space, and in the U.S. there’s a shortage of injectable products, so this may lead to an acquisition.” Today, shares of Claris surged 4.8 percent to 199.3 rupees, the highest closing price in a month. The stock has climbed 34 percent in the past 12 months, outperforming the 9.9 percent gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index. Injectable Focus: Mit Desai, a spokesman for Claris, declined to comment on the prospects of a takeover in an e-mailed reply to questions. The company’s shares began trading in 2010 following a 2.88 billion rupees ($53 million) initial public offering. Carlyle Group LP, the second-largest private-equity firm by assets, invested $20 million in 2006 and still has an 11 percent stake, data compiled by Bloomberg show.