Wednesday, May 21, 2014

After Outselling Apple’s IPhone Samsung Turns to Drugs

From Bloomberg:
Samsung (005930) Group transformed its electronics unit into the world’s largest smartphone maker by outselling Apple Inc. (AAPL) Now it’s setting sights on the drug industry.

South Korea’s biggest company is investing at least $2 billion in biopharmaceuticals, including the growing segment of biosimilars, which are cheaper versions of brand-name biotechnology drugs that have lost patent protection.

Samsung, with $327 billion annual revenue, aims to become a major force in biotechnology, an industry expected to generate sales of more than $220 billion in five years. With the electronics market reaching saturation, billionaire chairman Lee Kun Hee has been investing in new areas that might shore up growth for the family-controlled company.

“We are in an infancy still,” Christopher Hansung Ko, chief executive officer at the Samsung Bioepis unit, said in an interview. “We are a Samsung company. Our mandate is to become No. 1 in everything we enter into, so our long-term goal is to become a leading pharmaceutical company in the world.”...MORE