MUMBAI: Ingen Capital, Fidelity Trading Corporation and Union Quimico Farmacéutica are in the final race to acquire distressed drug maker Orchid Pharma, people familiar with the matter said.
The offers made by all of them are at par with the liquidation value of the company, they said.
Orchid Pharma, which is facing financial claims of Rs 3,500 crore, exports active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of antibiotics and has two US Food and Drug Administrationapproved manufacturing plants. It was referred to bankruptcy court by Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) in the middle of last year.
Ingen Capital is a manager of fixed income and distressed asset funds that invest globally in transportation infrastructure, renewable power utilities and healthcare. Fidelity Trading Corporation is an offshore fund and Union Quimico is a subsidiary of Hyderabad-based Vivimed Labs.
When the bids for Orchid were invited initially, as many 25 applications were received.
Ingen, Fidelity and Union Quimico were not reachable for a comment.
Orchid Pharma’s resolution professional, Sripatham Ramkumar, did not respond to ET’s email query until press time Sunday.
The other bidders for Orchid during the previous round of bidding were Strides Pharma, Nectar Lifesciences and private equity firm Blackstone.
Orchid’s bankruptcy reflects the state of India’s API manufacturers, experts said. The company had to sell assets to rein in debt. In 2012, it sold its penicillin business to US drug maker Hospira for $200 million.
Though Indian drug makers are making their mark in formulation exports, API manufacturers have faced tough competition from Chinese rivals. Almost 60% of the APIs that Indian pharma companies use to make drugs comes from China. The state of small and medium-size API makers persuaded the government to set up a task force to impose curbs on the import of APIs and encourage domestic makers.
Among the current suitors for Orchid, the only API company is Vivimed, which is listed on the BSE and has manufacturing facilities across the world, according to the information put up on the company’s website.