Bulgarian Competition Watchdog Approves Pharmaceutics Merger

Business | January 6, 2011, Thursday // 10:48|  views

Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov (right) and the "Sopharma" CEO, Ognyan Donev, during the groundbreaking ceremony for the company's new plant in September 2010. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Commission for Competition Protection has approved the merger of the pharmaceutical manufacturer "Unipharm" with the largest "Sopharma," the Commission announced Thursday.

The merger will happen long-term; currently there are no changes at the two companies.

By the end of the third quarter of 2010, "Sopharma," had a nearly 50% stake at "Unipharm," compared to just below 6% at the beginning of 2009.

The "Sopharma" Director of Relations with Investors explains, until recently, there was no possibility to buy a significant share of the pharmaceutical manufacturer through the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE), and for this reason "Sopharma" had applied with the Competition watchdog.

"Unipharm" shares trade at BSE for BGN 5.5, meaning the "Sopharma" shares are valued at over BGN 16 M.

The latest merger is just the next consolidation of "Sopharma," whose "Sopharma Logistics" department recently merged with "Sopharma Trading."

On Wednesday, the company announced its December sales were down 4% on annual basis – 6% down on the Bulgarian market and just 1% abroad.

For the entire 2010, however, "Sopharma" sales are up 13% and revenues are up 20%.

The company further informs they have registered a significant increase in orders from Russia for the first two months of 2011.

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Tags: Commission for Competition Protection, merger, Unipharm, Sopharma, BSE


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