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A Growing Appetite

Banking on acquisitions, Torrent Pharma is focused on strengthening its presence in the domestic market

In the pharmaceutical industry circle, turant was the name used when one spoke of the Ahmedabad-based Torrent Pharmaceuticals. Turant is ‘immediate’ in Hindi and the word was really to drive home the point on the company’s ability to move quickly, be it launching new products or the pace of decision-making. It was a title, which was used in a big way in the late 1980s and early ’90s. 

At that point, Torrent was known to launch at least two products for one from competition. The foray into power by the group in 1996 shifted the focus away from pharma and precious time was lost. Now, Torrent appears to be determined to get back a slice of the pharma story, which it ceded to rivals. The buyout of Unichem’s branded businesses in India and Nepal, earlier this month, for a handy Rs.3,600 crore is a step in that direction. This move helps Torrent to become the fifth-largest player in the Indian pharma industry from its thirteenth position. The deal has been struck at an EV/sales valuation of 4.3x (Unichem’s Rs.860 crore sales from these two markets). The acquisition gives Torrent, which clocked a revenue of Rs.5,850 crore in FY17, a portfolio of 120 brands, a plant in Sikkim and 3,000 employees. 

In a statement following the announcement of the deal, Samir Mehta, Torrent Pharma’s chairman, s

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