A pharmacist counts pills in a pharmacy. File image: Reuters

Johannesburg - Shares in Cipla Medpro drop more than 6 percent on a report that its Indian suitor Cipla has shelved plans to buy a controlling stake in the South African generic drug firm.

India's Economic Times quotes YK Hamied, chairman of Cipla, as saying the $215 million deal for 51 percent stake of the nation's third-biggest generic drug maker is on hold.

“South Africa is not the only market for us to grow. Our new CEO will take a call on whether to proceed with the deal or not,” the newspaper quoted Hamied as saying.

Shares in Cipla Medpro drop 6.3 percent to 8.81 rand, still above the 8.55 rand Cipla put on the table in November.

Investors had been betting on sweetened offer for months after Cipla Medpro won a big portion of a government contract to supply HIV/AIDS drugs to state hospitals days after Cipla announced its bid. - Reuters