Aspen in Dutch pharmaceutical deal

28 June 2013

South Africa’s Aspen Pharmacare has signed a R10-billion deal with Dutch pharmaceutical firm MSD to acquire an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing business in the Netherlands and satellite office in the United States.

The API business sites are made up of manufacting operations based in Oss, parts of the Moleneind and De Geer sites and the Boxtel site in the Netherlands, as well as Sioux City, Iowa in the US.

“The products manufactured at the sites fall into two categories, namely biochemicals, where biological processes are involved, and chemicals where the process is fully synthetic,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The deal also includes the option to acquire a portfolio of 11 branded finished dose form molecule products from MSD, known as Merck in the US and Canada.

These finished dose products cover a range of treatments such as hormone replacement therapy, corticosteroids, anabolic steroids, oral contraceptives and anti-coagulants with brands such as Benutrex, Orgaran and Ovestin, among others.

Aspen is Africa’s largest generic pharmaceutical company and ninth in the world.

“One of Aspen’s primary strategic intents is to further globalise its business, increase its representation across a number of additional territories and provide support to its growing global presence with a differentiated pipeline,” said Aspen Group chief executive, Stephen Saad.

“This transaction provides a platform to contribute to the achievement of this strategic intent by enabling Aspen to access a niche range of APIs and finished dosage products.”

The deal is expected to become effective on 1 October, and if Aspen take the option to acquire the finished dosage products, it will take effect on 31 December.

“These niche Products will substantially supplement Aspen’s growing footprint in a number of emerging and established markets – the notable presence of these products in Latin America and Asia Pacific is supportive of Aspen’s aspirations for these regions,” Aspen said.

SAinfo reporter