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Piramal Enterprises buys Abacus International

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 - 6:00am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Piramal Enterprises, the healthcare major, has made its second acquisition in seven months, using its last acquired entity to make the buy.

Piramal Enterprises, the healthcare major, has made its second acquisition in seven months, using its last acquired entity to make the buy.

Piramal’s subsidiary Decision Resources Group (DRG) acquired UK-based market analytics and market access solutions firm Abacus International.

Though the deal size was not disclosed, experts said it is most likely a “small deal”.

Piramal had acquired US-based DRG for $635 million in May, marking its entry into the area of consulting and analytics. This acquisition of Abacus will give the company access to the European markets.

Peter Hoenigsberg, CEO of DRG, said Abacus is an important acquisition to expand market access capabilities. “It also serves to boost our position in Europe as an important resource for healthcare firms globally.”

Experts said Piramal is using its cash from the Abbott deal judiciously to enter into a segment like data analytics and consulting, which is a niche area, instead of getting into crowded spaces like active pharmaceutical ingredients or formulations.

Piramal had sold its domestic formulations business to Abbott two years ago for $3.8 billion.

Ranjit Kapadia, senior vice-president, Centrum Broking, said, “Since analytics and related fields do not have heavy presence by pharmaceutical players, it can give Piramal a unique advantage. Acquiring a firm which is into pure-play pharmaceuticals would have meant facing stiff competition.”

The healthcare information industry globally is said to be around $5.7 billion, with firms like Reed Elsevier, Gartner, Forrester Research as well as DRG being key players.

Moreover, this acquisition will provide Piramal access to the nearly 70 clients of Abacus, which include top pharma and healthcare firms like GE Healthcare, Abbott, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Roche.
Through its DRG buy, Piramal got access to 48 top drugmakers who were part of DRG’s clientele.

“Piramal can have this entire database at their disposal. This worth more than buying any pure-play drug maker,” said an analyst from a brokerage.


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