Aspen Invests R2.7 Billion in Expanding Global Business

30/06/08:

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Johannesburg – JSE listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (Apn) has announced an investment by its offshore subsidiary, Aspen Global Incorporated, of GBP 170 million (approximately R2.7 billion) for the acquisition of four pharmaceutical products from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Aspen Global has acquired the intellectual property rights to the branded pharmaceuticals Eltroxin, Imuran, Lanoxin and Zyloric for all major markets worldwide with the exception of the USA and Zyloric in Japan. The deal substantially expands Aspen’s international business with the four products presently generating in excess of R1 billion in sales annually.

Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive said “This landmark transaction accelerates our strategy of global expansion, while simultaneously adding specialist and differentiated products to complement our existing vast product portfolio. We are confident that Aspen’s global distribution network will continue to supply these important products to patients across the world and we look forward to further expanding on the range of Aspen products marketed internationally through this network.”

This transaction bodes well for Aspen’s globalization initiatives, building on their recent Latin American and East African investments. Aspen currently has affiliates in Asia, Australasia, Latin America and East Africa. The deal extends Aspen’s reach into major markets such as Japan and Europe.

Stephen Saad said “This is a really exciting deal for Aspen which fits perfectly with our international expansion plans and should provide manufacturing opportunities for the Group in the future. The transaction has been made possible by the mutually beneficial and valued relationship which the Aspen Group has enjoyed with GSK over a number of years.”.

The four products enjoy strong brand presence across more than 100 countries. Eltroxin is indicated for the treatment of hypothyroidism; Imuran is an immunosuppressant indicated, inter alia, for the survival of organ transplants; Lanoxin is indicated for certain heart conditions including heart failure; and Zyloric is administered for the treatment of gout. GSK will continue to manufacture these complex products for Aspen under terms of an initial supply agreement. The transaction also makes provision for a transitional distribution arrangement with GSK.

Aspen currently markets a number of GSK prescription products into the South African market. Aspen Australia also holds the licence to market and distribute a portfolio of GSK products into the Australian OTC market.