Sanofi Chief Executive Officer Chris Viehbacher sees opportunities for striking new pharma deals in countries such as Vietnam and Colombia as France’s biggest drugmaker continues to target purchases and partnerships in developing nations.
“Prices of assets haven’t come down,” leading Sanofi to scout for targets in countries beyondChina and India where prices are more reasonable, Viehbacher said today in an interview at theWorld Economic Forum in Tianjin, China.
“Places like Vietnam, Indonesia, places like Colombia have become extremely interesting in terms of growth,” the 52-year- old CEO said.
Drugmakers have been turning to Asia and Latin America for investments to reduce their reliance on slower-growth markets such as Europe. The purchase of Medley SA in 2009 gave Paris- based Sanofi (SAN), the maker of Lantus insulin and the Plavix blood- thinner, ownership of Brazil’s third-largest pharmaceutical company and the country’s biggest maker of generic medicines.
Boosting Sanofi’s presence in China, where the French company probably will increase its workforce in the coming year, also remains a priority, Viehbacher said. The Chinese government is trying to prevent growth from slipping below a 7.5 percent target this year, which would already be the weakest since 1990.
“I am confident, in the long term, on the growth outlook for China,” the CEO said. “We are moving from made in China to created and discovered in China. It’s just a normal part of an economic development process that as wages rise, companies have to seek higher value out of the industries.”
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