Sun Pharma to buy GSK’s Opiates business in Australia

Sun Pharmaceuticals, India’s largest drug maker, will acquire the opiates business of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Australia. GSK’s opiates business, including related manufacturing sites in Latrobe (Tasmania) and Port Fairy (Victoria) and its portfolio of opiates products along with inventory, will be transferred to a subsidiary of Sun Pharma. The financial details have not yet been disclosed.

The product portfolio consists of poppy-derived opiate raw materials that are primarily used in the manufacture of analgesics for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. All employees from both sites will also be offered employment by Sun, according to a company statement. 

The transaction is part of GSK’s strategy to offload non-core businesses in Australia and allow it to focus on delivering its innovative product portfolio. 

“The opiates business has been an important part of our Australian business for many years, but as our portfolio transitions, we believe now is the right time to hand this business over to someone else,” said Steve Morris, general manager, GSK Opiates, in a statement. 

Iftach Seri, executive vice president of the API business at Sun Pharma, said “The global opiates market holds good potential and the addition of GSK’s Opiates business will strengthen our positioning further. The acquisition is a part of our strategy towards building our portfolio of opiates and accessing strong capabilities in this segment.”

The transaction closure is subject to requisite regulatory and other approvals, and is expected to be completed by August 2015.

Mumbai-based Sun Pharmaceuticals earns over 75% of its sales from global markets. For the year ending March 2014, overall revenues were at $ 2.7 billion, of which the US contributed $ 1.6 billion.