Aspen buys pharmaceutical business

Published: March 7, 2011

South African company secures Sigma’s Australian operation.

South Africa’s Aspen has become the largest pharmaceutical business in Australia after buying Sigma’s pharmaceutical operations in the country.

The A$900mn (US$915mn) cash deal introduces Aspen to Australia’s generics and OTC markets. Funding was arranged by Standard Bank.

Aspen’s group chief executive, Stephen Saad, said the deal accelerates the growth of its Australian business and also helps its expansion plans in the broader Asia Pacific region.

Under the terms of the deal, Sigma retains its wholesale business and Aspen forges a distribution deal with the company.

Sigma’s pharmaceutical portfolio consists of branded, generic and OTC products, which include well-known Australian brands.

Aspen has distributed and marketed pharmaceutical and consumer products in Australia for a decade and reported revenues of A$180mn in the year to July 2010.