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Cipla Medpro Rises to Record on AIDS Deal: Johannesburg Mover

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Cipla Medpro South Africa Ltd., the country’s third-largest pharmaceutical company, climbed to a record after winning a quarter of the government’s 5.9 billion rand ($672 million) AIDS medicine procurement contract.

The stock rose 0.2 percent to close at 8.82 rand, the highest level since the shares started trading in June 2005. It set a record intraday price of 9 rand yesterday. About 6.8 million shares, four times the daily average over the past three months, changed hands today.

The 1.4 billion-rand contract for anti-retrovirals will run through 2014, the Johannesburg-based company said in an e-mailed statement. Cipla Medpro said it already has an order to supply South Africa with respiratory medicines, bringing total business with the government over the next two years to 2 billion rand.

“Cipla has historically been very strong in the private sector,” Skhumbuzo Ngozwana, deputy chief executive officer, said by phone today. The tender business has traditionally lagged behind, he said.

Cipla Ltd., India’s third-largest drugmaker by market value, last week offered to buy a 51 percent stake in the South African company for 8.55 rand a share.

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. and Mylan Inc. also won part of the tender, the government said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jaco Visser in Johannesburg at avisser3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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