South Africa’s biggest generic drug maker, Aspen Pharmacare , has acquired a selection of over-the-counter products from GlaxoSmithKline, the global pharmaceutical group, for R2.1bn ($269.1m).

The news was Friday welcomed by the markets. The deal, which excludes Europe and North America, includes established brands such as Zantac, Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Dequadin, Solpadeine, Borstol and Cartia.

CEO of Aspen, Stephen Saad disclosed in a statement that “the products have considerable established brand equity, which Aspen intends to leverage through increased promotion and expand through line extensions.”

He also indicated that the transactions will provide impetus in territories (Latin America and Asia) where Aspen is seeking to grow critical mass.

Aspects Of The Deal

The deal comprises two transactions: a Southern Africa deal in which Aspen will acquire the products for South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe for R252m ($32.3m); and another in which Aspen’s Mauritius subsidiary Aspen Global will acquire the products for the rest of the world, excluding Europe and North America, for R1.8bn.

According to a local sources, the Southern Africa deal is subject to regulatory approval in South Africa, Namibia and Swaziland. The second transaction takes effect on May 1.

Aspen said the deal with GlaxoSmithKline, which would be funded with a mixture of cash, existing credit facilities and new debt, was expected to boost its earnings.

The pharmacare company’s share price on the JSE soared 6.89% on the news to an intraday high of R124.01 ($15). However, it closed at 5.93%.


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