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India's Piramal to Buy US Healthcare Company

From Associated Press (May 16, 2012)

MUMBAI, India -- India’s Piramal Healthcare said Wednesday it will buy Decision Resources Group, a U.S. healthcare information company, for 34 billion rupees ($635 million), as it slowly taps its cashpile for overseas acquisitions.

Piramal’s cautious deployment of $3.8 billion from the sale of its mainstay generic drug business to Abbott Laboratories two years ago has vexed investors eager to see their cash reinvested quickly. Frustrated with the business environment in India, chairman Ajay Piramal has been slow to rebuild the company, focusing largely on overseas acquisitions.

In April, Piramal agreed to buy a portfolio of medical imaging molecules from Germany’s Bayer Pharma including an Alzheimer’s diagnosis it says could yield $1.5 billion in revenue. In 2011, Piramal bought Canada’s BioSyntech, a cartilage repair agent, which recently received approval for commercial sale in Europe.

The company also picked up a short-term stake in the Indian operations of British telecom giant, Vodafone.

Piramal is now looking at acquisitions in defense sector, the Press Trust of India reported Wednesday.

Decision Resources Group provides research and analysis to pharmaceutical companies. It projects revenue this year will be $160 million and says 48 of the top 50 global pharmaceutical companies are its clients.

"The need for specialist information is critical and the demand is growing," Piramal said in a statement. "DRG’s portfolio of products is widely regarded as the gold standard of information."

He said Decision Resource’s management team and 300 analysts would remain in place and that the company would remain headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts.

The deal, expected to close by June, is subject to regulatory approval.


Posted: May 2012