The Indian subsidiary of the $4.2-billion Menarini Group is said to be in the early stages of discussions with a handful of companies to acquire brands across segments including skin care - it currently sells Johnson & Johnson products.
According to managing director, Girdhar Balwani, the company is looking at acquisitions in the range of Rs 500 crore and that “We are in discussions with some Indian firms, but unreasonable valuation is a constraint.”
"We expect the existing business to grow to Rs 250 crore by 2018; another Rs 250 crore is to come through a combination of OTC business and possible acquisitions,” the MD adds.
Further investment in the cosmetics area..
In India, Menarini has Hexilak Silicone Gel in the segment for the removal of scars, and is now being considered for the over-the-counter acquisition.
“Once we are successful with the OTC promotion of Hexilak Silicon Gel, we would evaluate the scope of taking Acnelak, an anti-acne soap, and Papulex (cream/cleansing gel), and the dermo-cosmetic range for the management of acne,” Balwani explains.
Currently, Menarini India accounts for about 65 brands acquired and in-licensed from Invida India, ShalaksPharma, MRPL and Sinclair IS Pharma.
Earlier in the year, Invida had acquired the dermatology and primary care brand portfolio from Delhi-based Shalaks Pharmaceuticals. Last year, MRPL was integrated with Invida India; it was rebranded as Menarini India this year.
The company’s projected revenue for 2013 is about Rs 100 crore (80 per cent from brands and 20 per cent from CSO (contract sales organisation).
Pharma companies frequently crossing over into cosmetics
Elder Pharmaceuticals recently revealed it was teaming up with Japanese cosmetic giant, Kose to develop a personal care range specifically for the Indian market.
At the time Elder stated that the venture was an effort to help both companies hone their skills for the Indian market, where culture and tastes are very different, the Japanese company is said to have considered it essential to undertake strategic and business planning tailored to the region.
Elsewhere, the brothers of Indian firm, Paras Pharmaceuticals announced they were making their way back into the personal care sector with their own cosmetic brands which experts believe will be fierce competition for the consumer goods company, Marico who bought out the brothers back in 2010.