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Sanofi to start search for buyers soon

MD for its BD operations talks about wind-up plan

| Updated: October 17, 2019 11:09:13

Muin Uddin Mazumder Muin Uddin Mazumder

Sanofi will soon start search for buyers as the French drug maker has decided to sell its Bangladesh operations under its global business strategy.

Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd managing director Md. Muin Uddin Mazumder made the disclosure while talking to the press on Tuesday.

Talking about the company's decision to wind up Bangladesh operations, he said Sanofi is continuously making choices to reshape its portfolio, innovation pipeline and organisational structure and make its industrial footprint in different geographies worldwide.

"You know Sanofi is an RnD-based company. There are many new products in the pipeline which requires more investment and the company needs to allocate its resources on priorities. That's why it took the decision," he said.

Based on the decision, the managing director said, the multinational company intends to quit despite making consistent profits. It looks for a potential and trustworthy buyer who will carry its legacy ahead.

"But we haven't started the search process yet. It might take 12 to 18 months to complete the share transfer formalities. We just show our intention of selling our stake to the government shareholders," he said.

Explaining how the new company will uphold the legacy of the French drug maker, he said the company is looking for a buyer who will commit to continue production of its existing products and follow ethical and scientific promotion of Sanofi portfolio in the long term, for the benefit of both patients and employees of the company.

"So, our products will be available as it is now here," he said.

Responding to a question regarding job security of the existing employees, Mr Mazumder said protecting interests of its employees is one of the company's top priorities globally.

"It is our intention to negotiate a collective employment guarantee clause in the agreement with the new company for at least 12 months after Sanofi actually transfers its stake," he said.

Indian chapter of the multinational company recently closed the divestiture of its European generics business Zentiva to private equity firm Advent International for a total of US$2.2billion.

"We will follow all the official steps before completing the stake-transfer procedure," he said.

The government shareholders earlier asked the company high-ups to comply with the section 31 of Memorandum of Association and Article of Association where it is clearly mentioned that the sellers shall give notice to the board that the shares are to be transferred.

The French drug colossus holds 54.64 per cent of its operations here while the Ministry of Industries and BCIC control 25.37 per cent and 19.96 per cent stakes respectively.

As of December 2017, paid-up capital of the non-listed company is estimated around Tk 360 million while total asset of the company is calculated at nearly Tk 5.15 billion and external liabilities Tk 2.65 billion.

On the basis of net asset value per share, the BCIC invested Tk 498.64 million, the MoI Tk 634.38 million and the multinational firm Tk 1.36 billion. Profit per share was estimated at Tk 102 in 2017 and the retained earnings were Tk 1.50 billion.

Bangladesh's drug market has been expanding at a double-digit rate, reaching around US$2.0 billion. The company accounts for 2.0 per cent of the booming local pharmaceutical market.



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