04 Jul 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Mumbai: Serum Institute of India, the flagship company of the over $1 bn Poonawalla Group and India's largest vaccine company, has acquired Bilthoven Biologicals of Netherlands. Through the acquisition, the Poonawalla Group and Serum Institute will get access to technology and expertise for making the Injectable Polio Vaccine (Salk), an unique capability and expertise that is currently possessed by a mere three other vaccine manufacturing plants globally.
This first overseas acquisition by the Poonawalla Group will also provide the Group and Serum Institute, an important manufacturing base in Europe, with access to the important European and US markets. Bilthoven Biologicals is located in the city of Bilthoven which is 45 minutes from Amsterdam. The manufacturing facility is spread over 20 acres and employs over 200 people. The facility has a manufacturing capacity of over 20 million doses of vaccines in a year and the company sells these vaccines to Europe and developing countries.
Announcing the acquisition, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of the Poonawalla Group and Serum Institute, said, "The Poonawalla Group, as indeed Serum has constantly striven hard to provide the highest quality vaccines at affordable prices to the world. This acquisition will significantly strengthen our position in the global vaccines market, while giving us access to the technology and production facility of Injectable Polio Vaccine (Salk), which is the only logical solution available to the world for the eradication of polio. More importantly it also gives the Poonawalla Group an important operational and strategic beachhead in Europe and the US, with the important manufacturing base in the Netherlands. This will also significantly enhance our earlier offerings in the pediatric vaccines segment including DPT, Measles and MMR vaccines where we are the global leaders today."
Serum Institute, the Group's flagship company, has business dealings with Bilthoven Biologicals for the last 35 years. Bilthoven Biologicals was owned by the The Netherlands government. Serum Institute of India (Cyrus Poonawalla Group) has acquired 100 percent shares of the company from the Netherlands government.
Sharing the future outlook for the company, Mr Adar Poonawalla, executive director of the Poonawalla Group and Serum Institute, said, "The Poonawalla Group is committed to investing over Euros 70 - 80 million over the next 3 years to augment the infrastructure and enhance the manufacturing capacity of the Bilthoven's facilities. Serum Institute has one of the world's largest Vaccine manufacturing facilities at Pune, India and with this second manufacturing facility based in Europe, the company aims to access the developed markets of Europe and USA for its existing and future products in the pipeline."