Sanofi confirms Bangladesh exit

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Oct 17,2019 | Updated: 19:23, Oct 17,2019


France-based multinational drug maker Sanofi on Wednesday confirmed wrapping up its Bangladesh operations and has started looking for a partner to transfer its stake in Sanofi Bangladesh Ltd (SBL).

‘We believe that we are not necessarily in the best position in Bangladesh to maximise our business opportunities,’ the French pharma giant said in a media statement.

Accordingly, Sanofi intended to find a partner to transfer its stake in SBL while continuing to make their quality brands available in Bangladesh, it said.

The disclosure came after widespread rumours surfaced that the company planned exit from the country after over 60 years of operations.

Local employees of the company became distressed over the speculations in fear of losing jobs during the share transfer process.

They have also demanded compensation packages among other things and  threatened tougher actions if the demands were not met.

Sanofi had been denying that it wanted to exit Bangladesh despite holding meetings with state-owned Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation which owns 45.36 per cent shares of the SBL.

The global biopharmaceutical company, which operated in 100 countries, holds 54.64 per cent stakes in the SBL.

Sanofi was continuously making choices to reshape its portfolio, innovation pipeline, organisational structure and industrial footprint in different geographies worldwide, the statement stated.

‘It aims to identify a trustworthy organisation that will commit to carry on our legacy by way of ethical and scientific promotion of the Sanofi portfolio in the long term, for the benefit of both, our patients and employees,’ Sanofi said.

In the statement, the company also said that it was committed to protecting the interests of its employees.

‘Should we sell our stake in the SBL, it is our intention to negotiate a collective employment guarantee clause for at least twelve months after Sanofi actually transfers its stake,’ it said. 

Sanofi Bangladesh managing director Muin Uddin Mazumder on Tuesday told reporters that that it might take 12 to 18 months to end the process of transferring its share to a new investor.

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