Hungary's Richter buys Swiss biotech company Finox for $194 mln

BUDAPEST, June 30 (Reuters) - Hungarian drugmaker Richter has acquired Swiss biotech company Finox Holding for 190 million Swiss francs ($194 million), expanding its presence in major European markets, Richter said on Thursday.

The deal gives Richter, which makes gynaecological, cardiovascular and central nervous system drugs, global rights for Finox's female infertility medicine Bemfola in all markets apart from the United States.

The acquisition is part of a drive by Richter to expand its global reach and reduce reliance on its single biggest market, Russia, which is hit by European Union sanctions as well as Ukraine, which is mired in an economic crisis.

At 0748 GMT, Richter's shares traded 1.6 percent higher at 5,640 forints on the Budapest Stock Exchange, outperforming the blue chip index, which rose 0.7 percent.

Bemfola is sold in more than 20 countries, taking in European Union member states, Israel, the Middle East and Australia.

"Finox represents a unique opportunity for Richter to widen its core Women's Healthcare franchise and further emphasises its commitment to biosimilar business," a Richter statement said.

"This acquisition allows Richter to establish its presence in the female fertility therapeutic area -- a major growth market."

Richter said the global market for such infertility products is worth more than 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion) and is growing by about 4 percent a year, largely driven by couples waiting longer before starting a family.

Chief Executive Erik Bogsch said that Richter would finance the transaction, one of its biggest acquisitions in recent years, from cash and the company expected the deal to boost its profitability from the first year.

Richter will consolidate Finox from the second half of 2016, Bogsch said, adding that the deal would add 15 million euros to its revenues this year.

"We expect that in two-three years' time ... we should be able to achieve in global sales roughly 80 million euros and around 80-85 percent should come from Europe, mainly western Europe," Bogsch said.

Female healthcare accounted for a third of Richter's total revenue in the first quarter. Its single biggest market is Russia, which contributes a fifth of total sales. ($1 = 0.9801 Swiss francs) ($1 = 285.18 forints) ($1 = 0.9018 euros) (Reporting by Gergely Szakacs; Editing by David Goodman and Keith Weir)


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