Fosun agrees to buy KKR-backed Indian drugmaker for $1.4 billion

In what appears to be a season of acquisition, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co Ltd has agreed to buy Gland Pharma – backed by KKR & Co LP – for about $1.4 billion, a source said.

The deal however, will be India’s largest inbound acquisition this year.

According to Reuters, the deal would be the first major move by the Fosun group since Guo Guangchang, founder of flagship holding firm Fosun International Ltd and one of China’s best-known entrepreneurs, briefly went missing late last year.

The acquisition would also underscore the positive outlook for drugmakers in India, which is a major global supplier and counts the United States as its largest export market helped by lower manufacturing and labor costs.

Gland Pharma’s founders and U.S. private equity firm KKR, who jointly hold roughly 96 percent of the Indian drugmaker, will sell almost all of their stake to Fosun, said the person, who was not authorized to speak on the matter ahead of a formal announcement and so declined to be identified.

The deal is likely to be announced as soon as Thursday, the person said.

Trading in shares of conglomerate Fosun International Ltd and its Shanghai Fosun subsidiary was suspended in Hong Kong on Thursday pending a statement regarding a “notifiable transaction”.

A spokeswoman for Shanghai Fosun declined to comment. KKR and Gland Pharma were not immediately available for comment.

Besides Fosun, the Gland Pharma sale attracted interest from private equity firm Advent, medical company Baxter International Inc and drugmaker Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, people close to the matter told Reuters in April.

Gland Pharma, based in the southern India city of Hyderabad, makes injectables – widely used medicines administered through vials, syringes, bags and pumps, which are harder to manufacture than regular medicines.

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