Reckitt Benckiser has agreed to acquire India-based Paras Pharmaceuticals for approximately $726m to gain access to the fast-growing Indian market.

The company, which produces over-the-counter medications and ointments, including pain relief ointment Moov and cold remedy D’Cold, achieved sales equating $89m in the financial year that ended 30 March 2009.

Private equity firm Actis has agreed to sell its 63% stake in Paras to Reckitt Benckiser, while shareholders including Paras founder Girish Patel have also agreed to sell their stakes.

The acquisition marks growing investment in the non-prescription pharmaceuticals sector from Reckitt Benckiser, who purchased Boots’ over-the-counter business for $3bn in 2006.