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Kopran puts 7 brands on block

By C H Unnikrishnan in Mumbai
June 28, 2005 12:12 IST
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The Mumbai-based Kopran Ltd, which has sold its three leading brands to Merck Specialities and Associates last week, has put another seven brands on the block. The company is in talks with two multinational generic companies and a leading domestic firm, said a senior company executive.

"The deal is expected to be finalised in soon," he said. The company, however, declined to give more details on the valuations and the brands, which are likely to be sold.

At present, the major brands of Kopran in Indian market includes Klodip (Amlodipine), a Rs 1.41 crore (Rs 14.1 million) cardiology drug, Cholestat (Atorvastatin Calcium), a Rs 0.43 crore cholestrol lowering drug, Cisapid, a Rs 0.23 crore anti-heart burn drugĀ  Caditone (carvedilol) an Rs 0.03 crore anti-hypertension drug, Ketotif (ketotifen) and anti-asthma drug, andĀ  Zimat (cetrizine dihydrochloride) a Rs 0.06 crore anti-allergic drug and Losan (losantan) a Rs 0.13 crore brand.

The brand sales values are based on the ORG-IMS Research data for May MAT (moving annual total) 2005.

Last week, Kopran had transferred Vent, Tini and Bid range of products and its technologies to Merck Specialities, the subsidiary of the German multinational Merck for Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million).

Kopran had also assigned its flagship brand -- Aton to the Ahmedabad-based Cadila Healthcare for a total valuation of Rs 80 crore (Rs 800 million) in 2002.

The brand disposals is part of a financial and business restructuring whereby the company intends to focus on international bulk drugs and generic formulations market.

A company source said as the new patent regulations are bound to change the business dynamics of the pharmaceutical industry, the company plans to shift its historical emphasis from domestic business to international market.

"To accomplish this, we plan to enter into a strategic alliances or assignments of branded pharmaceutical formulations. In this respect discussions are in progress with various companies. This strategy should improve the financial condition of the company and provide resources to reduce debt and working capital," the source said.

The company also had a corporate debt restructuring, through which it proposes a reduce the interest burden. This would include settling a chunk of the company's debt through a one-time settlement with lenders.
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C H Unnikrishnan in Mumbai

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