Novartis is the pharmaceuticals company most prolific at making international expansions, followed by E. Merck and Bayer. GlobalData’s pharmaceuticals foreign direct investment (FDI) company report highlights the current foreign investments made by leading pharmaceuticals investors. Buy the report here.

Novartis has been the most active pharmaceuticals greenfield investor between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024, according to GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database. The parent company has been actively investing through several of its subsidiaries/company divisions.

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Greenfield foreign direct investment is when a company invests abroad to establish a new physical presence or expand an existing operation. Greenfield investments create jobs and/or involve a capital investment into the foreign location. Other forms of FDI, such as mergers and acquisitions, are not included as part of this definition.

The majority of Novartis investments were in the drug manufacturers subsector. In fact, 92.3% of its total foreign investments were in this subsector. It also created projects across a further four subsectors.

By business function, most (48.1%) of Novartis projects were related to manufacturing. R&D and headquarters were the next most popular operations undertaken by Novartis.

The company has been active across six world regions, mainly focused on Western Europe which received 42.3% of the company’s greenfield investments between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024. Its top three destination countries (by number of greenfield FDI projects) were Austria, Slovenia and Mexico. Combined these three countries account for 37.5% of its total number of pharmaceuticals investments.

Novartis created more FDI projects in 2022 compared to any other year between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

Other leading FDI project generators in the pharmaceuticals industry include E. Merck, Bayer, AstraZeneca and Sanofi.

The US is the leading source market for outbound pharmaceuticals greenfield FDI projects. The country accounts for 25.7% of total outbound pharmaceuticals investment projects. There have been 157 unique parent companies from the US that have announced pharmaceuticals FDI projects between between Q1 2019 and Q1 2024.

To further understand the top pharmaceuticals FDI companies, access GlobalData’s Top Pharmaceuticals Foreign Direct Investment Companies report.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s FDI Projects Database records greenfield FDI throughout the world in real-time. The data can be used to analyse company cross-border expansion activities as well as identify industry, thematic and geographic trends.