Eli Lilly is in talks to form a partnership with, and potentially invest in, Turkish generic-drug company Mustafa Nevzat Ilac Sanayii (MN Pharmaceuticals), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter, according to Reuters.
The talks, which are in an early stage, mark the latest effort by a big western multinational to tap emerging markets for growth.
The discussions with Indianapolis-based Lilly are currently focused only on a minority interest, the newspaper reported.
Both Lilly and MN Pharmaceuticals have lined up advisers in advance of a potential deal. Besides a foreign drug company, it is also possible MN could sell a stake to a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, one of the people told the Journal.
A deal with MN Pharmaceuticals would give a foreign drug company access to local distribution, low-cost manufacturing, regulatory expertise and new products. Turkey also could serve as a springboard to fast-growing markets in Asia.