Aspen Acquires Glaxo Thrombosis Brands in $1.13 Billion Deal

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd., Africa’s largest generic-drugs maker, will buy GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s injectable thrombosis brands, a manufacturing site and inventory for 700 million pounds ($1.13 billion).

“The limited focus by GSK on this therapeutic area represents an opportunity,” Aspen said in a statement today. “GSK has not concentrated its promotion of the brands in many of the emerging markets targeted by Aspen as future areas of growth.”

Aspen will acquire the Arixtra and Fraxiparine/Fraxodi brands and a specialized production site in France, it said. Aspen will take over about 400 sales and marketing employees who work on the brands in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The total payment will include about 100 million pounds for inventory. Glaxo is Aspen’s biggest shareholder with an 18.6 percent stake, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Aspen supplies medicine in more than 150 countries and had sales of 19.3 billion rand ($1.9 billion) in the year through June. Johannesburg-based Aspen started offering $2.04 billion of acquisition loans to a bigger group of lenders to finance purchases of assets and brands, the company said in a statement on Sept. 13.

Jobs Saved

“Subject to regulatory approvals, we expect the majority of commercial operations will transfer to Aspen by the end of the year,” with the remainder, along with the manufacturing site in France, following in the first half next year, Kalpesh Joshi, a Glaxo spokesman, said in an e-mail.

Aspen shares fell 2.1 percent to 262.75 rand at the close in Johannesburg, the lowest price since Sept. 11. That trimmed this year’s gain to 55 percent and values the company at 120 billion rand. Glaxo fell 0.7 percent in London.

“As a long-term partner of ours, we feel Aspen is well-placed to put the necessary resource behind these products to take them forward,” Joshi said. “We are also pleased that we were able to preserve around 1,000 jobs as a result of this transaction.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Johannesburg at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net