Elder Pharma Elder Pharma has stepped on the brakes with regard to overseas acquisitions and is focusing instead on consolidating its business over the next couple of years, said Mr Alok Saxena, Elder’s Director-International.

Recently, the company terminated its open offer to increase its stake in the UK-based NeutraHealth plc from 21 per cent to between 50 and 60 per cent. Elder’s indicative open offer was 5.5 pence a share.

Elder had sought to increase its stake in NeutraHealth because valuations were good. But that now stands terminated and the company is not keen on anymore acquisitions and is looking to consolidate and grow the domestic business, Mr Saxena told Business Line.

Overseas buys

In the last 18 months, Elder has picked up 51 per cent stake in Ghana’s Wincom Formulations, besides 51 per cent stake in Bulgaria’s Biomeda OOD Ltd. It also hiked stake to 49 per cent in its joint venture in Nepal, Elder Universal Pharmaceuticals.

Despite the slow-down, Elder expects its domestic business to grow at about 20 per cent, he said. The growth will be driven by its products in the anti-depression, nutraceuticals and women’s health segments that are marketed in the metro and larger towns, he said. This will be supplemented by the new division started last December, targeting the rural segment. Elder is looking to sell more mass-market products in the semi-urban markets, through this initiative, he added.

Elder had set itself a target of clocking revenues of Rs 1,000 crore by 2011 and it is on track to get there, he said. Having adopted the strategy of in-licensing products from overseas companies and selling them in the local market, Elder Pharma has about 30 such deals operational. The company looks to end the current fiscal with consolidated revenue of about Rs 700 crore.