GSK pays $1 billion to lift Indian unit stake to 75 pct

LONDON Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:52pm IST

The GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen at the entrance of a building in Luxembourg, September 10, 2013. Picture taken September 10, 2013 REUTERS/Yves Herman/Files

The GlaxoSmithKline logo is seen at the entrance of a building in Luxembourg, September 10, 2013. Picture taken September 10, 2013

Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman/Files

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LONDON (Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) said on Monday it had paid 64 billion rupees to increase its stake in its Indian pharmaceuticals unit to 75 percent, as it banks on rising demand for medicines in emerging markets.

Britain's biggest drugmaker first announced plans to lift the holding in GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GLAX.NS) from 50.7 percent in December. It held an open offer to buy the extra shares at 3,100 rupees each from February 18 to March 5.

Final payment for shares tendered and accepted will be completed by March 20, GSK added.

David Redfern, GSK's chief strategy officer, said the decision to increase exposure to the Indian market was "a significant vote of confidence" in growth prospects for its business in India.

GSK, which has had a presence in India for 90 years, is keen to secure a bigger share of India's growing $14 billion-a-year market, which it views as promising despite recent moves to impose price cuts and limit patents on some medicines.

The open offer was managed by HSBC.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by Mark Potter)

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