Aspen Pharmacare in Talks to Acquire Infant Nutrition Business

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd., Africa’s largest generic-drug maker, is in talks to buy a baby-food business to add to the company’s nutrition unit two years after it bought licenses to sell Nestle SA’s infant formula.

“Aspen is currently engaged in discussions regarding a possible acquisition of an infant nutritionals business,” the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement on Thursday, adding that the deal could have an impact on the drugmaker’s share price.

Aspen, which supplies medicines in more than 150 countries, has spent in excess of $2 billion on acquisitions in the past two years and has identified opportunities for further deals, Chief Executive Officer Stephen Saad said in March. The company said May 11 it had agreed to sell a pharmaceutical business to Dublin-based Endo International Plc for 1.6 billion rand ($135 million).

The shares have declined 13 percent this year, valuing the drugmaker at 161 billion rand. The FTSE/JSE Africa Index is up 8.3 percent in 2015. London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc sold half its stake in March to own about 6 percent of the company.