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German family business seeks Latin American investments

Drugmaker Grünenthal is looking to “invest big” in Latin America and has $1.3 billion (€1.01 billion) to spend on acquisitions “in the near future”, according to the company’s chief executive officer.

Drugmaker Grünenthal is looking to “invest big” in Latin America and has $1.3 billion (€1.01 billion) to spend on acquisitions “in the near future”, according to the company’s chief executive officer.

Harald Stock told Bloomberg that the family business, based in Aachen, Germany, wants to expand its painkiller operations in Latin America, particularly in Brazil and Mexico.

“We don’t feel rushed, and we shouldn’t do silly things with our cash, but if the opportunity is right and the numbers make sense, we are willing to invest big,” he said.

Latin America is already Grünenthal’s second biggest market, accounting for €133 million of the company’s €910 million sales in 2010.

The business, which is owned by 19 members of the Wirtz family, is focusing heavily on research and development at the moment, he told Bloomberg.

“Being a private company right now seems to be a huge competitive advantage over peers”, allowing Grünenthal to “over-invest” in research and development, he added.  

Founded in 1946 by Hermann Wirtz, Grünenthal operates in more than 80 countries. 

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