Drugs firm GSK eyes India acquisitions: chief executive

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British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is in the market to buy assets in India at a total cost of up to $2.0 billion (1.5 billion euros), its chief executive said in an interview published on Monday.

Chief executive Andrew Witty told The Times newspaper that GSK was seeking "bolt-on acquisitions" as it seeks to further exploit opportunities in the rapidly-growing Indian market.

"India is clearly on the radar," Witty said during a recent visit to Mumbai, adding that the group would spend between $500 million and $2.0 billion on acquiring assets.

"I would love to buy something in India," he said, but cautioned that GSK was unlikely to seek larger-scale takeovers and would not pay over the odds.

"We already have an enviable brand in India so there is no need for us to pay a strategic premium. Others might need to do that, but we don't," he added.

Witty has made emerging markets one of his key strategic priorities since becoming GSK chief executive in 2008.

© 2011 AFP

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