Johannesburg. Aspen (APN), South Africa’s leading pharmaceutical company, has announced that all conditions precedent have been met for it to acquire the pharmaceutical business of Australian-based Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited (“Sigma”).
The acquisition was approved following the extraordinary meeting of Sigma shareholders held on 14 January 2011. The effective date of change of ownership is 31 January 2011 and will position Aspen as the leading pharmaceutical company in Australia by volume of scripts generated.
Stephen Saad, Aspen’s Group Chief Executive, said “Aspen is excited about this acquisition which enables the Group to accelerate growth in its Australian business and also to stimulate expansion plans into the broader Asia Pacific region. Aspen has already demonstrated its ability to supply high quality products at competitive prices across more than 100 worldwide territories. We have confidence in our Australian management team to leverage Aspen’s world-class procurement, manufacturing and distribution capabilities to ensure the expanded Aspen business delivers growing value in Australia.”
In 2010 Aspen announced that it had reached a formal agreement to acquire Sigma’s pharmaceutical business on a debt-free basis for a cash consideration of AUD 900 million. The purchase consideration is approximately ZAR 6 148 million, based on an AUD/ZAR exchange rate of 0.1464 as at 13 January 2011. The transaction was however subject to a number of conditions precedent which have now been fulfilled.
The Sigma business:
Sigma, which has a 98-year legacy in Australia, is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. Sigma’s pharmaceutical business, which is now being acquired by Aspen, consists of an extensive product portfolio of branded, generic and OTC products which include many well-known and trusted Australian brands as well as five manufacturing facilities. Sigma retains its wholesale business, and is one of three major wholesaler distributors in Australia. Aspen has concluded a long-term distribution agreement with Sigma.
Rationale for the acquisition of Sigma’s pharmaceutical business:
Based upon the historic performance of Aspen and Sigma in the Australian market, the combination of Sigma’s pharmaceutical business with Aspen’s existing business in Australia should lead to 1 in every 8 Australian prescriptions being written for an Aspen product and result in Aspen being ranked first by volume of scripts generated in Australia.
Issued By: Shauneen Beukes, Shauneen Beukes Communication
Tel: +27 12 661 8467; Cell: +27 82 389 8900
On Behalf of: Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive
Tel: +27 31 580 8601
Gus Attridge, Aspen Deputy Group Chief Executive
Tel: +27 31 580 8602
Roshni Gajjar, Aspen Investor Relations
Tel: +27 31 580 8649; Cell: +27 82 789 1826