PTT raises stake in Taiwan firm

PTT raises stake in Taiwan firm

National oil and gas conglomerate PTT has taken a significant step into the pharmaceutical sector by teaming up with the Aztiq Fund to buy out Alvogen Emerging Markets Holdings (AEMH), increasing PTT's shareholding in Taiwan-based Lotus Pharmaceutical Co to 37% from 6.6%.

AEMH was a major shareholder of Lotus Pharmaceutical.

The share purchase deal, worth US$475 million (16 billion baht), will make Innobic (Asia), a wholly-owned subsidiary and life science arm of PTT, a major shareholder in Lotus Pharmaceutical.

The transaction is scheduled to be completed within the first quarter of next year, according to a statement recently released by PTT.

The Aztiq Fund is a long-term investment fund based in Iceland. It focuses on real estate and pharmaceuticals as well as art and culture.

The new investment by PTT follows the sale of Lotus Pharmaceutical's 17.51 million newly issued shares to Innobic at NT$50 million (60.3 million baht).

This accounted for 6.6% of total shares, enough to make Innobic the second largest shareholder after Alvogen Group, an international pharmaceutical company.

Investments in Lotus Pharmaceutical are expected to help Innobic gain better access to the pharmaceutical market in Asean.

PTT chief executive Auttapol Rerkpiboon said PTT Group hopes the new share purchase deal serves as a springboard for the company to strengthen its position in the pharmaceutical sector.

PTT expects rapid growth of pharmaceutical business over the next decade.

Forming alliances with leading global pharmaceutical firms is in line with Innobic's strategy to strengthen Thailand's health-related sectors, including medicines, healthy foods and medical technology.

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