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May, 26 2016

Dr. Reddy's acquires six consumer healthcare OTC drug brands in US

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd has acquired a portfolio of half a dozen over-the-counter (OTC) drug brands from American drugmaker Ducere Pharma to enter the branded consumer health business in the US for an undisclosed amount.

The acquired brands—Doan's, Bufferin, Bufferin Ointment, CruexNail Gel, Comtrex and Myoflex—represent products in the cough-and-cold, pain and dermatology categories.

"These legacy products enjoy strong brand equity built over several decades," said Alok Sonig, executive vice president and head of Dr. Reddy's in the US.

"We are extremely excited to be entering the branded consumer health arena through these brands and embarking upon the next avenue of growth for our OTC business in the US,” he added.

According to Sonig, Dr. Reddy's will build upon the sales and marketing efforts for these brands and continue to focus on their expansion into existing and new market channels.

With the sale, Ducere Pharma would be left with only one brand Nupercainal as per its website. Currently, its products are sold in over 20,000 stores across US.

Ducere Pharma is backed by US-based consumer products and specialty logistics-focused PE firm Casla Partners.

"We think Dr. Reddy's is well-positioned to continue the successful growth of these brands," said Samuel F. Hines of Casla Capital Management LLC.

Dr Reddy's scrip that has come under pressure since last November and has lost around one-third of its value since then, last traded at Rs 3,052.95 a share, up 0.92% on BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Wednesday.

Last year it had acquired a portfolio of established brands of Belgium-based pharmaceutical firm UCB in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives for Rs 800 crore (approximately $128 million then). The deal has strengthened its presence in dermatology, paediatrics and respiratory verticals with brands like Atarax, Nootropil, Zyrtec, Xyzal and Xyzal M.

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