Sanofi to acquire Colombian generics maker

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Healthcare major Sanofi announced on 2 October 2012 that it has signed an agreement to acquire Colombian generics manufacturer Laboratorios Genfar (Genfar), making Sanofi a market leader in Colombia and expand its portfolio of affordable pharmaceuticals in Latin America.


Genfar is the second largest generics company in Colombia and also has a commercial presence in Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and ten other countries in Latin America. In 2011, Genfar’s total sales were US$133 million, with 30% of the company’s sales being generated outside of Colombia. Genfar is one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in Colombia, with strong local brand awareness and a broad and complete portfolio of affordable pharmaceutical medicines.

Sanofi sees the acquisition as a ‘unique opportunity to strengthen its presence in Latin America through a large portfolio of affordable pharmaceuticals in a broad range of markets in the Andean countries and Central America’ according to Mr Heraldo Marchezini, Senior Vice President, Latin America, Sanofi. The Genfar deal is described by Sanofi as being ‘an excellent strategic fit supporting Sanofi’s emerging markets strategy’.

In 2003, the pharmaceutical market in Colombia was worth US$712 million, of which prescription medicines accounted for 80%. Generics accounted for 12.6% of the prescription medicines sector, or 10.1% of the pharmaceutical market in 2003, equal to US$90 million. Healthcare reform in Colombia has boosted the consumption of generics, since the drugs eligible for reimbursement are primarily cheap generics.

This is not the first time Sanofi has ventured into emerging markets. In 2009, Sanofi acquired Brazil’s largest local generics company Medley [1] and in May 2010 the company signed an agreement with Nichi-Iko to establish a new joint venture to develop a generics business in Japan [2].

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to be finalised in the first quarter of 2013.

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1.  GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. The pharmaceutical market in Brazil []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2012 Oct 12]. Available from:

2.  GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Sanofi-aventis and Nichi-Iko announce joint venture for generics in Japan []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2012 Oct 12]. Available from:

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Source: Research and Markets, Sanofi

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