Aventis Pharma Ltd exits joint venture vaccine manufacturer Chiron Behring Vaccines Pvt Ltd

Drug manufacturer, Aventis Pharma Ltd’s subsidiary Sanofi-Aventis is exiting its joint venture vaccine making firm Chiron Behring Vaccines Pvt Ltd (CVBPL), by selling its 49% stake to its nominee partner Novartis Pharma AG for $22.399 million, around Rs.101.1 Cr.

Aventis Pharma will sell its stake to Novartis Pharma AG, a nominee of joint venture partner Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics Inc, a unit of Swiss drug maker Novartis AG. The deal is expected to conclude before 31 December 2010.

The deal is expected to close before December 31, 2010. Aventis Pharma holds 4.9 million shares (49% stake) in Chiron, while the balance 51% is held by Novartis. Aventis Pharma has agreed to continue to provide certain utilities and services to the Ankleshwar plant of CBVPL for a period of three years from the date of closing on mutually agreed terms.

CVBPL manufactures the anti-rabies vaccine Rabipur at its plant in Ankleshwar, which was until February 2009 distributed in India by Aventis and presently distributed by Novartis Healthcare.

After the deal is closed, all the pending disputes between Aventis Pharma and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics would be withdrawn unconditionally. The dispute was related to Novartis’ objection of its partner selling its own competing product that hurt sales of Rabipur. The Court had stopped Aventis from selling the drug.

Other players in this space are Bharat Biotech, Ranbaxy, Serum Institute of India, Wockhardt and Zydus Cadila. Sanofi-aventis, one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, and its 100% subsidiary, Hoechst GmbH, are the major shareholders of Aventis Pharma Limited and together hold 60.4% of its paid-up share capital.

The shares of Aventis Pharma Limited are quoted on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Aventis Pharma said that it will continue to provide certain utilities and services at the Ankleshwar plant for a period of three years on mutually agreed terms.

The largest pharmaceutical company in Europe and in emerging markets, sanofi-aventis is the fourth largest worldwide. The Group’s vaccine division, sanofi pasteur, is the world leader for human vaccine production and commercialization.

With nearly 100,000 employees in over 100 countries, sanofi-aventis has core strengths in the field of healthcare: a worldwide presence, market leadership in vaccines, major biological products and a strong and long-established presence in emerging markets.

Sanofi-aventis can draw on a number of powerful assets to address the new context in the global pharmaceutical market: an extensive portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, generics medicines, consumer health care and animal health, along with a balanced presence on both traditional and emerging markets.

13 Dec 2010.