Pharmaceutical giant Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd is buying majority shares of the Bangladesh wing of the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi for around £35.5 million or Tk412 crore.
Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd signed a deal with Beximco Pharma on Thursday, and the stakeholders anticipate that the proposed transaction of 19.63 lakh shares (54.6%) will be completed within the next three to nine months following approval from regulators concerned.
Beximco Pharma's Managing Director Nazmul Hassan said, "We are delighted to announce the proposed acquisition of a majority stake in Sanofi Bangladesh. If approved, it will be the second strategic acquisition in Beximco Pharma's history, following that of Nuvista Pharma Ltd in 2018.
"This acquisition of Sanofi Bangladesh will serve as a strong foundation for sustainable growth in the future through strengthening our position in therapy areas where Sanofi has a strong footing. We believe the unique and diverse portfolio of Sanofi will complement our existing product range and will drive significant revenue growth for the Company."
The remaining 45.4% shares in Sanofi Bangladesh is owned by the Bangladesh government through the Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (20%) and the Ministry of Industries (25.4%).
Upon completion of the share transfer, Sanofi Bangladesh will remain a separate legal entity, and its employees will continue their employment there on the same terms and conditions that exist today.
After Sanofi Bangladesh's share transfer, the company's science-backed high-quality products across various therapeutic areas including diabetes, cardiology, oncology, CNS (central nervous system), consumer healthcare, vaccines and hospital care will continue to be made available in Bangladesh through its local manufacturing facilities as well as imports.
The proposed transaction is subject to approval by the Foreign Exchange Investment Department of Bangladesh Bank and completing the Share Purchase Agreement. If the proposed transaction is not approved by the Bangladesh Bank, or has not completed by 20 October 2021, Sanofi would be able to withdraw, in which case the company's commitment would lapse and the proposed transaction would not proceed.
Speaking on the transaction, Sanofi Bangladesh's Managing Director Muin Uddin Mazumder said, "We have carefully selected Beximco Pharma who will continue to build on Sanofi's legacy through investments and growing the business to provide more patients with increased access to Sanofi's products across Bangladesh.
"Together, we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition for the benefit of our employees, our customers and the patients of Bangladesh."
He continued, "As a responsible company, our employees' interests will always remain our priority and we have worked towards ensuring that they remain protected contractually. The intention is for our people to transition to the new company, on the same terms and conditions that exist today, and guaranteed employment for at least 3 years."
Meanwhile, Sanofi Bangladesh Employees' Association reiterated its demand seeking compensation from the French pharmaceutical giant, as its employees are set to shift from a multinational company to a local one, said the association's general secretary Sanjib Kumar Chakraborty.
Sanofi is a multinational pharmaceutical company that started its operation in Bangladesh as "May and Baker" in 1958, and later merged with various entities to form Sanofi-Aventis in 2004.
It was renamed Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd in 2013. The company has a modern pharmaceutical plant in Tongi. Sanofi also supplies its global brands of vaccines, insulin and chemotherapy drugs to Bangladesh through direct imports.
Sanofi Bangladesh generated Tk388 crore in revenue, Tk49.79 crore in profit before tax and Tk609 crore of gross assets in 2019.