GlaxoSmithKline is eyeing acquisitions worth as much as $2 billion in India in an effort to cement its position in one of the world's fastest-growing drug markets, the group's chief executive told U.K. newspaper The Times in an interview, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
In a wide-ranging interview during a visit to Mumbai, Andrew Witty said that GSK was seeking "bolt-on acquisitions" in Asia's third-biggest economy to strengthen its emerging markets business, which he has made a key strategic focus since taking over as chief executive in 2008, The Times said.
"India is clearly on the radar," he said, adding that he expected the company to spend between $500 million and $2 billion, according to The Times. "I would love to buy something in India." Mr. Witty cautioned that GSK, which employs 5,000 people and turns over more than $1 billion in the country, was unlikely to pursue larger-scale mergers and acquisitions and was unwilling to overpay for companies.
"We already have an enviable brand in India so there is no need for us to pay a strategic premium," he said. "Others might need to do that, but we don't."