April 22, 2009 / 10:52 AM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Piramal Health eyes acquisitions in the US, Europe

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NEW DELHI, April 22 (Reuters) - Piramal Healthcare Ltd (PIRA.BO) is looking for acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe, a senior official said, adding that business should grow during the current fiscal year at about the same pace it did in 2008/09.

Piramal recently acquired US-based inhalation anaesthetics maker Minrad International Inc to boost its presence in the global critical care business and Director Swati Piramal said they were looking for more.

“We expect to buy 2-3 companies in advanced markets like the U.S. and Europe,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a conference.

Piramal Healthcare reports results for its fourth quarter ended March on Friday.

Piramal Healthcare and a related firm Piramal Life Sciences Ltd PLSL.BO would together invest about 1 billion rupees during the 12 months to March 2010, mostly on new drug development and research, she said.

The company is in the process of phase II trials of a cancer drug and expect to get approvals in the U.S., Australian and Indian market this year, Swati Piramal said, adding 14 new drugs were in the pipeline.

The firm plans to add 300-400 professionals in the super-speciality marketing division, she added, ruling out any plan to to sell stake in Piramal Healthcare or Piramal Life Sciences Ltd.

Piramal Healthcare employs about 7,000 employees in total, she said.

Shares in Piramal Healthcare closed 0.1 percent higher at 211.05 rupees in a Mumbai market that ended 0.74 percent down, while Piramal Life Sciences shares fell 1.9 percent to 48 rupees. (Reporting by Manoj Kumar; Editing by Ramya Venugopal)

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