Aspen Pharmacare sells six prescription medicines brands for R1.8 billion

The Eastern Cape-based pharma company continues making progress with reducing its debt with yet another disposal.

On Friday, South African pharmaceuticals company Aspen Pharmacare announced it had entered into an agreement to sell off a portfolio of six of its prescription medicines brands to Swiss company Acino for R1.8 billion. The price tag at which the portfolio was sold has been described as a ‘decent price’ by market commentators. According to a SENS alert released by the company, the products included in the deal are sold under the brand names, Altosec, Aspen Granisetron, Ciavor, Grantryl, Trustan and Zuvamor in the country and brought in revenue of R512 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2021. The transaction is expected to bolster the Zurich-based company's efforts as it looks to further strengthen its position across emerging markets, where it primarily operates.

The deal will also see the two companies enter into a manufacturing and supply arrangement, which will see Aspen manufacture and supply the products for a period of seven years. Aspen plans to use the proceeds to reduce its debt which has spooked the markets in recent years following the company’s acquisitive trail which saw it acquire a manufacturing plant from GlaxoSmithKline, anaesthetics rights from AstraZeneca and an infant milk formula business, which it later sold off. Just last month, Aspen announced it had trimmed its net debt to R16.3 billion by the end of June – a massive reduction compared to the R35.2 billion it held the last year. Though subject to the fulfilment of customary conditions applicable to such deals, the transaction is expected to close by year end.