Abbott to acquire Solvay Pharmaceuticals for US dollar 6.6 bnAmerican healthcare major Abbott Laboratories today said it will buy pharma business of Belgium-based Solvay Group for USD 6.6 billion.

Both companies have good presence in India. Abbott would acquire Solvay Pharmaceuticals, which is part of Belgium's diversified Solvay Group.

The two entities have entered into a definitive agreement in this regard for the all-cash transaction valued at USD 6.6 billion, Abbott said in a statement.

Subject to the regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2010.

Abbott said the buyout would add over USD 3 billion in annual sales.

"Solvay (Pharmaceuticals) has significant presence and infrastructure in key high-growth emerging markets, including Eastern Europe and Asia," it noted.

Abbott's Executive Vice President (Pharmaceutical Products Group) Olivier Bohuon said that in emerging markets where chronic disease is being treated more aggressively, "the combined Abbott and Solvay portfolio of branded generics expands the global reach of these medicines".

Solvay is present in India through its group firm Solvay Pharma India, which has over 450 employees, according to the firm's website.

The acquisition would also add about USD 500 million to Abbott's annual pharmaceutical R&D investment.

Abbott would also acquire Solvay's vaccines business and the Belgian entity's small molecular diagnostics unit that would become part of Abbott's diagnostics division.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals whose sales stood at 2.7 billion euro in 2008, has more than 9,000 employees.

The Belgian firm has treatments for Parkinson's disease, Ménière's disease (abnormality of the inner ear), vertigo, and irritable bowel syndrome.

It also has products to treat men's and women's hormonal health
, and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (inability to properly digest food), which is associated with several underlying conditions including cystic fibrosis and chronic pancreatitis.

"The acquisition of Solvay Pharmaceuticals further diversifies our pharmaceutical portfolio, expands our presence in key high-growth emerging markets, enhances our investment in R&D and accelerates our long-term earnings-per-share growth outlook," Abbott's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Miles D White said.