S.Africa’s Aspen sells thrombosis drug business to Mylan, shares jump

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JOHANNESBURG, Sept 8 (Reuters)South African drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare APNJ.J has agreed to sell the rights to its European thrombosis business to U.S. pharmaceutical company Mylan MYL.O for almost 642 million euros ($759 million), sending its shares up 7% on Tuesday.

“The transaction supports Aspen’s strategy of continuing to reshape the Group towards a greater concentration of revenue in emerging markets,” Aspen said in a statement.

The company said it would retain the thrombosis business almost exclusively in emerging markets.

The sale will also allow Aspen to streamline its business in Europe, strengthen its balance sheet and provide “financial headroom” for future investments, the company said.

Proceeds from the deal will be used to reduce the group’s debt, Aspen said, adding Mylan would pay 263.2 million euros on completion of the deal and the balance in June 2021.

Investors have been concerned about Aspen’s debt in the last two years after levels moved close to breaching debt covenants.

The market cheered the deal, pushing the company’s shares up by 7.30% in early trading to an near two-week high.

As part of the deal, Mylan will acquire the commercialisation rights and related intellectual property of the business, product registrations and marketing authorisations, plus the cost of the related inventory.

Aspen and Mylan will also enter into a manufacturing and supply agreement where Aspen will supply thrombosis products, which prevent blood clots, sold under the brand names Arixtra, Fraxiparine, Mono-Embolex and Orgaran in Europe.

($1 = 0.8462 euros)

(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla and Emma Rumney; Editing by Tanisha Heiberg and Mark Potter)

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