Malvinder Singh defends his "emotional" decision to sell Ranbaxy

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London, June 16 : Malvinder Mohan Singh has said that the decision to sell Ranbaxy was "emotional", and added that you cannot hold a company from future advancement because your shareholding will come down.

In the largest sell-out in India Inc's history, promoters of Ranbaxy, the country's largest drugmaker, announced selling their entire 34.8 percent stake in the firm to Japan's Daiichi Sankyo for Rs 10,000 crore (2.4 billion dollars).

Since announcement, Malvinder Mohan Singh has been flooded with messages from friends who are still sceptical about his decision.

"They said: 'Have you actually sold your shareholding'?" said Singh, Ranbaxy's Chief Executive Officer.

The surprise deal gives Daiichi control of Ranbaxy, which was founded by Singh's grandfather in 1961 and is one of the stars of corporate India, The Financial Times reported.

Singh, who took the helm at Ranbaxy in 2006 aged 33, said: "If someone else can create more value and do things better, you should be open to exploring those options."

He dismissed rumours that Pfizer might bid for the 65 per cent non-family owned stake in Ranbaxy as "very speculative" and said he had not been in talks with the world's largest drug maker.

In explaining why he sold his family's crown jewel, Singh was quick to point out the benefits of the deal.

"It takes Ranbaxy to a whole different level and there is huge merit in bringing big pharma and generics together. Joining forces with Daiichi strengthens Ranbaxy's fledgling and expensive efforts to develop original drugs rather than just copying existing ones," he said.

For its part, Daiichi gains expertise in generics, which are still nascent in Japan; low-cost plants in India; and access to emerging markets.

The deal with Daiichi bolsters Ranbaxy's aspirations to raise annual sales to 5billion dollars by 2012 from 1.6 billion dollars in fiscal year 2007 and break into the ranks of the world's top five makers of generic drugs.

Singh will have no stake in Ranbaxy but will continue as chief executive for his five-year term.

"But I'm going to be here far more than that," he said. Singh made the decision to sell with his brother Shivinder Singh, who sits on Ranbaxy's board and is managing director of Fortis, a private hospital chain.

ANI

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