Piramal Healthcare to be renamed to reflect diversification

Last Updated: Jul 19, 2012, 21:28 PM IST

Mumbai: Pharma major Piramal Healthcare will be renamed as Piramal Enterprises following its recent entry into diversified business activities.

The rechristening comes four years after Nicholas Piramal became Piramal Healthcare.

"To appropriately reflect the company`s changed business profile, it is proposed that the name of the company be changed to Piramal Enterprises Ltd," Piramal Healthcare Chairman Ajay Piramal told shareholders at the annual general meeting here today.
After selling its domestic formulation business to Abbott for Rs 17,600 crore in 2010, the company has invested into pharma, telecom and information management and financial services sectors.

"We have enough cash flows as we go into the future. We have still to receive USD 1.2 billion from Abbott over the next three years," Piramal said.

"In addition, the company has made an equity investment of Rs 5,862 crore in Vodafone India as short-term investment for the next two to three years and we believe this investment would generate attractive returns," he said.

The company is eyeing opportunities which will provide sustainable returns in sectors having high growth potential and where it can derive significant advantage, he said.

Piramal pointed out that the pharma industry globally continues to face challenging time. Large firms are facing patent expiries of blockbuster drugs on one hand and on the other, fewer new products are being approved. These companies are looking at various ways to reduce costs.

The firm is also growing its OTC business which has a strong brand portfolio. The OTC sector has potential of continued high growth, Piramal said.

On investment in R&D he said, "We are now beginning to see the fruits of our investment in R&D and are making significant strides towards creating a truly innovation-driven global pharma business."