The Power Of I 2017

Early mover

What makes Intas the most valuable privately-held pharma company in India

After coming into being in 1985, Intas Pharma had a slow start for about a decade. Its strategy was always to gain a foothold in the chronic therapeutic business, which included neurology and psychiatry. The big break came with the foray into oncology, which has given the company a serious foothold in the international markets. Intas’ strength lies in its ability to identify segments before competition. It managed to do so in oncology and later on with infertility. Now, with the acquisition of Actavis’ assets in the UK and Ireland, its position in the European market will only get stronger. It is hoping to replicate the success story with its entry into biosimilars after having been the first company to launch its offerings in the EU. Even in the domestic market, Intas is among the top ten. Its sustained growth story has helped it in attracting private equity funding and making it the most valuable unlisted Indian
pharma company

On a routine work visit to Europe in 2007, Binish Chudgar stopped over at Barnstaple, the main town of North Devon district in the UK. The natural beauty of the location immediately struck him. As he prepared for a meeting with the folks at Actavis Generics, he wondered why anyone would have a manufacturing plant here. Chudgar’s Intas Pharmaceuticals, an Ahmedabad-based company that had slowly made a name for itself in India, was there to discuss a potential contract manufacturing deal. The meeting went off reasonably well, though Chudgar sensed some degree of reluctance on Actavis’ part to source work to India. “We never got the deal but at least got to see a great tourist spot,” chuckles Chudgar. 

Almost a decade later, Intas swooped the assets of Actavis in the UK and Ireland last October for an eye-popping £603 million (Rs.5,117 crore). It was not much less than Intas’ FY16 turnover of Rs.6,570 crore that came with a net profit of Rs.883 crore. Industry trackers were stunned as Intas got past the likes of Aurobindo Pharma to clinch the deal. The sale of this asset was necessitated after the Israeli pharma company Teva acquired Actavis for $40.5 billion in mid-2015 and the subsequent anti-trust divestiture requiremen


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