South Africa’s Aspen to Sell Infant Formula Unit Worth $864.5 Million To French Dairy Group

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A logo sits on display outside the offices of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd. in Durban, South Africa, on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. "Aspen believes absolutely that it can expand quickly into a market such as China, because the critical thing when it comes to medicine besides the price point is quality of the product," Stephen Saad, chief executive officer of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd., said. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Aspen Pharmacare is selling its global infant formula business to French dairy group, Lactalis for R12.9 billion ($864.5 million), the African drug-maker said in a statement today.

The nutritional business sells infant milk formula in the Asia-Pacific region, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, and has been building a growing presence in the Middle East and China.

According to Aspen CEO Stephen Saad, “The disposal is in line with our strategic intention to focus our attention on our core pharmaceutical business, which includes the anesthetics, thrombosis and high potency and cytotoxic portfolios.” “The heightened focus is expected to drive increased business efficiency and performance.”

As part of the transaction, Lactalis will receive any intellectual property and goodwill presently owned by Aspen Holdings and Pharmacare Ltd and Aspen Global Incorporated.

Aspen, which is Africa’s biggest generic drugs manufacturer, will also dispose of tangible assets and shares in companies conducting Aspen’s infant formula business across Asia-Pacific, including shares held by joint venture partners in New Zealand and Hong Kong. The deal will be funded with cash, stated the South African company.

Lactalis is a privately owned global leader in the dairy industry, achieving revenue of 18.4 billion Euros ($21.4 billion) from sales in more than 200 countries.