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Wockhardt in Talks to Sell India Drugs Business, ET Now Reports

Wockhardt Ltd., an Indian drugmaker banned from selling some medicines to the U.S. from two factories last year, is in talks to sell its domestic business to focus on international operations, ET Now television channel reported citing people it didn’t identify. Shares climbed.

The drugmaker is in talks to sell the India business, the TV channel reported. The company expects to get more than $1 billion for the asset, according to the report. Sagar Joshi, a spokesman at Mumbai-based Wockhardt, didn’t immediately respond to two calls to his mobile phone.

A sale at Wockhardt would be the second major transaction this year in India’s pharmaceuticals industry after billionaire Dilip Shanghvi’s Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. on April 7 agreed to acquire Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. from Daiichi Sankyo Co. for $3.2 billion. FDA inspectors who visited one of Wockhardt’s plants in July 2013 found urine spilling over open drains and mold in a raw-material storage area.

Wockhardt surged 12 percent to 809.80 rupees in Mumbai today, its highest level since July 23. The stock has climbed 79 percent this year, making it the best performer on the 16-company S&P BSE India Healthcare Index. India’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index fell 0.7 percent today.

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