Indian conglomerate buys Manhattan Research parent for $635m

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A Mumbai-based pharma custom manufacturing firm is buying the parent company of Manhattan Research.

Piramal Healthcare Ltd., which sold its Healthcare Solutions business to Abbott in 2010 for $3.8 billion, will acquire Decision Resources Group (DRG) for $635 million. DRG, which boasts healthcare analytics businesses in biopharma, market access and medical technology, will continue to operate as a standalone unit in Burlington, MA under the leadership of CEO Peter Hoenigsberg. The company projects revenues of $160 million this year. In addition to Manhattan Research, DRG brands include HealthLeaders Interstudy, BioTrends, Millennium Research Group, Arlington Medical Resources, Fingertip Formulary, PharmaStrat and Pinsonault.

Piramal's deal with Abbott gave the US company a turnkey manufacturing operation in India, where the market for branded generics—Piramal Healthcare Solutions' bread and butter–is worth an estimated $8 billion. It also gave Piramal an enormous cash pile, some of which the firm has invested in financial services, real estate, private equity and mobile phones. The firm retains a big custom manufacturing business, particularly in critical care, selling anesthesia products in over 100 countries, along with a pipeline of 16 new molecules.

Piramal chairman Ajay Piramal said in a statement: “The global healthcare industry is facing several challenges, including rising research costs, lower drug approval rates, mounting regulatory pressures and increasingly complex reimbursement models. The need for specialist information is critical and the demand is growing. DRG's portfolio of products is widely regarded as the gold standard of information. We will leverage our longstanding reputation and relationships with global pharma companies, our knowledge of emerging markets as well as our track record of successful acquisitions as we continue to grow further DRG's leadership position in the healthcare information and analytics industry. We're very pleased to add the expertise of a world-class management team with deep understanding of this sector and nearly 300 analysts with a strong track record in their field.”
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