Lupin Buys Japan Drugmaker for Flat-Cost Hospital Business

Lupin Ltd. (LPC), the pharmaceutical company founded by Indian billionaire Desh Bandhu Gupta, agreed to buy a specialty injectable-drug unit of Japan’s I’rom Holdings Co.

The acquisition of Tokyo-based I’rom Pharmaceutical Co. will be made through Lupin’s Japanese unit, Kyowa Pharmaceutical Industry Co., the Indian company said in a statement today. Ramesh Swaminathan, Lupin’s president of finance and planning, declined to provide financial details in a telephone interview.

The purchase will allow the Mumbai-based company to sell to Japan’s so-called diagnosis procedure combination hospitals, whose sales are expected to “grow significantly” in future, Lupin said. I’rom Pharmaceutical markets generic drugs to these facilities, which account for 35 percent of hospital beds in Japan, according to Lupin’s statement.

“This acquisition gives us a foothold into the DPC market and the injectibles space, which is a growing area in Japan,” Swaminathan said. Sales from Japan, which account for about 11 percent of Lupin’s revenue, will probably climb 15 percent in the year ending March 31, he said, without providing specific figures.

Japan’s government introduced a flat-payment system at diagnosis procedure combination hospitals under an initiative to standardize procedure costs and share health-care information.

I’rom Pharmaceutical makes intravenous drips and generic versions of drugs including Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s blood-pressure medicine Norvasc and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp.’s Radicut stroke treatment, according to its website.

The unit generated sales of 5.4 billion yen ($70 million) in the year ended March 31, Lupin said in its statement.

Lupin fell 2.2 percent, headed for the lowest closing level since Aug. 23, to 446 rupees as of 3:19 p.m. in Mumbai trading. The BSE India Sensitive Index dropped 2.1 percent.

This is the second acquisition in Japan for Lupin, which bought a majority stake in Osaka-based Kyowa in October 2007.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adi Narayan in Mumbai at; Kanoko Matsuyama in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Gale at

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