"All of the 600 Sanofi employees at the Ankleshwar site will move to Zentiva on terms that are not less favourable than their current terms," a Sanofi spokesperson said. The company hopes to conclude the transaction by next March. The company board will consider the best utilisation of proceeds for business development including distribution to shareholders in an appropriate manner, she added.
Shareholders, however, were not impressed with the announcement and the stock shed 4.37 per cent to close at Rs 5,990 on BSE on Wednesday.
Sanofi's generic drug business in Europe was housed in Zentiva and was acquired by Advent International last year. Sanofi India's managing director, Rajaram Narayanan, said the plant sale is a part of company's long-term focus to manufacture and sell its own brands. It also helps address the issue of excess capacity once the five-year drug sale deal comes to an end, and help improve asset efficiencies. The board has approved the sale as it is the interest of all stakeholders, Narayanan added.
Zentiva's chief executive officer Nick Haggar the Ankleshwar site will be the largest in the company's network and that the team in India will play a central role in the company's operations.