Aspen to Buy Glaxo Drugs for $372 Million as Deal Spree Goes On

  • South African company signs second deal to add anesthetics
  • Aspen, Glaxo also agree to end sub-Saharan Africa partnership

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy a portfolio of anesthetic medicines from GlaxoSmithKline Plc for as much as 280 million pounds ($372 million) as Africa’s biggest maker of generic drugs continues a spending spree.

The company will pay an initial 180 million pounds to Glaxo and disburse as much as 100 million pounds if certain goals are met, the Durban, South Africa-based drugmaker said in a statement on Monday. The deal adds to the anesthetics Aspen bought in June from AstraZeneca Plc of the U.K. for as much as $770 million.

“Aspen has identified anesthetics as a key element of its expansion strategy,” the company said. “The addition of the portfolio will serve to further establish Aspen as a major role player in anesthetics globally.”

The deal is the second since Aspen said in June it had secured 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) in funding, attracting support from 27 banks. The acquisitive company has spent more than $2 billion on assets from drugmakers including Glaxo and Merck & Co. in recent years to boost its portfolio of medicines and manufacturing sites, and now sells medicines in more than 150 countries.

The shares declined 1.4 percent to 324.25 rand as of 10:16 a.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 148 billion rand ($10.2 billion). The stock is down more than 10 percent since the company announced on Wednesday that the impact of selling pharmaceutical assets and a one-time currency-related loss in Venezuela would weigh on earnings.

Aspen also will buy rights from Glaxo to sell two drugs in additional countries, including China, for 45 million pounds. Aspen had previously bought the rights to sell the medicines, Fraxiparine and Arixtra, in other markets. The two companies agreed to cancel a partnership in sub-Saharan Africa, for which Aspen will receive 45 million pounds from the London-based company.

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