(Ecofin Agency) - Three months after it raised about €600 million in long-term financing, drug maker Aspen continues to improve its product portfolio in South Africa. The group intends to set money aside to settle some of its debt.
JSE-listed group Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd has sold a portfolio of six products marketed under the Trustan, Altosec, Zuvamor, Ciavor, Grantryl, and Aspen Granisetron brands to Swiss pharmaceutical company Acino, for R1.8 billion (about $123 million).
Stephen Saad, MD of Aspen, said the sale was agreed on to refine the company’s product portfolio in South Africa. In its annual results published at the end of August, covering the 12 months to 30 June 2021, Aspen said it had decided to adjust its existing portfolio in South Africa in line with its strategic objectives. The group said it has completed two recent disposals and announced further transactions in the coming months.
The funds raised from these transactions will enable the South African pharmaceutical company to reduce its debt, which stood at R16.3 billion in June 2021. Three months ago, Aspen raised nearly €600 million in financing from four international financial institutions to strengthen its balance sheet, support its operations and refinance its debt.
With this acquisition, Swiss Acino, which is backed by Nordic Capital and Avista Capital, will continue to expand its footprint in South Africa. The buyer will add the acquired brands to its existing product portfolio.
The deal is expected to close by December 31, 2021, once customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, are secured.