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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 05:47 GMT
India's Dr Reddy's buys Betapharm
Pills being poured into a bottle
Dr Reddy's appears to beaten a rival Indian bid
Indian drug maker Dr Reddy's is buying German-based rival Betapharm for 480m euros ($572m; 328m).

Aiming to boost its presence in Europe, Dr Reddy's is buying Betapharm from its UK-owner, private equity group 3i.

Dr Reddy's chairman Anji Reddy described the deal was a key strategic move in the firm's expansion plans.

In buying Betapharm, Germany's fourth largest generic drugs firm, Dr Reddy's appears to have beaten off a challenge from Indian rival Ranbaxy.

Ranbaxy said earlier in the week that it had made a bid for a German drugs maker which it did not name.

"The investment will provide a strong foundation ... to build a significant generics business in Europe in the long-term," said GV Prasad, chief executive of Dr Reddy's.

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