The Hindu - Business Line
Madhumathi D.S, Bangalore
Satarday, June
24, 2006

Sami Labs gets closer to a foreign buy

Bangalore-based Sami Labs is in advanced talks with two overseas candidates for acquisition and expects to complete the deal with one of them this year, according to its Managing Director, Dr Muhammed Majeed.

Sami has been shopping with a budget of around Rs 100 crore for over a year in the US and Europe to buy a company that can add marketing muscle to its global network.

On the radar now are a US-based one with a global distribution network and a German company, Dr Majeed told Business Line.

AGGRESSIVE ON BUYS
"We have been aggressive on acquisitions, primarily in the US, for companies that can bring us marketing as well as manufacturing capabilities. We are seriously looking at two-three candidates in the US and Germany. Due diligence is on and something could perhaps take place this year," he said. The acquisition, when it happens, would be financed through internal resources and a US-based investment group.

The Rs 480-crore nutraceuticals and herbal extracts player makes bulk supplies in the global markets through its US-based marketing arm Sabinsa Corporation. It has manufacturing facilities and an R&D centre at Bangalore and exports standardised herbal extracts, fine chemicals, cosmeceuticals, nutraceuticals (food and personal care products with medicinal value) besides probiotics and spice oleoresins.

COSMETICS LAUNCH
On the domestic front, too, Sami is in the process of increasing its sales team to prepare for its own cosmeceuticals foray under the `Johara' brand name. In the pipeline for nearly two years, and its packaging, design and pricing finalised, Johara is all but ready for launch, perhaps within a year, Dr Majeed said.