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INDIAN (H)

Orchid gets three final bids at par with liquidation value

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Orchid gets three final bids at par with liquidation valueMUMBAI: Ingen Capital, Fidelity Trading Corporation and Union Quimico Farmacéutica are in the final race to acquire distressed drug maker Orchid Pharma, people familiar with the matter said.

The offers made by all of them are at par with the liquidation value of the company, they said.

Orchid Pharma, which is facing financial claims of Rs 3,500 crore, exports active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of antibiotics and has two US Food and Drug Administrationapproved manufacturing plants. It was referred to bankruptcy court by Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) in the middle of last year.

Ingen Capital is a manager of fixed income and distressed asset funds that invest globally in transportation infrastructure, renewable power utilities and healthcare. Fidelity Trading Corporation is an offshore fund and Union Quimico is a subsidiary of Hyderabad-based Vivimed Labs.

When the bids for Orchid were invited initially, as many 25 applications were received.

Ingen, Fidelity and Union Quimico were not reachable for a comment.

Orchid Pharma’s resolution professional, Sripatham Ramkumar, did not respond to ET’s email query until press time Sunday.

The other bidders for Orchid during the previous round of bidding were Strides Pharma, Nectar Lifesciences and private equity firm Blackstone.

Orchid’s bankruptcy reflects the state of India’s API manufacturers, experts said. The company had to sell assets to rein in debt. In 2012, it sold its penicillin business to US drug maker Hospira for $200 million.

Though Indian drug makers are making their mark in formulation exports, API manufacturers have faced tough competition from Chinese rivals. Almost 60% of the APIs that Indian pharma companies use to make drugs comes from China. The state of small and medium-size API makers persuaded the government to set up a task force to impose curbs on the import of APIs and encourage domestic makers.

Among the current suitors for Orchid, the only API company is Vivimed, which is listed on the BSE and has manufacturing facilities across the world, according to the information put up on the company’s website.



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INDIAN (H)

Medical institute staffer files sexual harassment plaint against chairman

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Medical institute staffer files sexual harassment plaint against chairman BENGALURU: A 30-year-old employee of the Akash Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Devanahalli, has filed a sexual harassment complaint against its founder chairman Muniraju, his wife Pushpa Muniraj and Veena, a staffer.

In her complaint on March 12, the woman said the accused, particularly Muniraju, started sexually harassing her when she refused to bring fake patients whenever senior medical officers of the Medical Council of India came to the hospital on inspection.

“I have been working in the institute since April 1, 2014 and was forced to bring fake patients on many occasions. I came to know that it was an illegal activity and decided to stop bringing fake ones. But the accused trio started abusing and threatening me with dire consequences and finally went on to sexually harass me for refusing their directives,” she said.

As the complainant did not comply with their demands, Muniraju allegedly stopped paying her. “They stopped my payment since I stopped bringing fake patients. They owe me Rs 6 lakh as outstanding salary,” the complainant said.

Police said they have not arrested any of the accused. “We have to question them first,” Devanahalli cops said.

When contacted, the complainant’s family members told STOI that Veena had threatened “to throw acid on her face” for not heeding Muniraju’s words. “We have documents to prove how the woman was forced to work under threatening conditions. When she refused to listen to the director, Veena threatened her with dire consquences, including an acid attack,” a senior citizen from the woman’s family said.



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