Express Pharma Pulse
Friday, July 22, 2005

Right acquisition eludes Sami Labs despite scouting US, Europe, India

Thiruvanthapuram: The right takeover candidate is yet to meet the Rs 326 crore Sami Labs’ approval, despite a whirlwind scouting around for two-and-a-half months. The company had been in an active hunt for a BT acquisition, worth about Rs 100 crore, in Europe, the US and India.

‘‘We had recently stumbled on a spice-processing firm in Kottayam in Kerala, which looked like the ideal product integration infrastructure. But the balance sheet was too bleeding for comfort,’’ Muhammed Majeed, managing director, Sami Labs divulged at a press conference.

By the end of the calender year Sami Labs envisages to clock Rs 600 crore turnover. By 2006-2007, it projects Rs 1000 crore turnover. The profit has remained around 15 per cent of the sales turnover.

‘‘No IPO route will be necessary for funding the takeover. If the projections go right, the IPO plans can be rolled up till late 2006,’’ Dr Majeed said. The company expects to fund its expansion through internal accruals and through banking support, ‘even international.’’

Sami Labs dealt in a product-range used in the treatment of cardiovascular problems, arthritis, osteoporosis and for achieving weight loss. Its product for achieving weight loss contributed nearly 30 per cent to the turnover and the US, Japan and Europe were the biggest markets for this product. During 2005, the company would be investing Rs 55 crore in additional manufacturing facilities and about Rs 30 crore in medicinal plants cultivation initiative.

Besides Salem in Tamil Nadu, where Sami Labs has gone for large scale contract farming of the medicinal herb ‘Coleus forskohlii’ (root of wild tulsi) used in weight management, it was also negotiating with the governments in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhatisgarh and Kerala for its chhattisgarh and Kerala for its cultivation that necessary investment. “The idea is to enlarge its product profile, Dr Majeed said, Explaining the scramble for a matching takeover.