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12 November 2019GenericsRory O'Neill

Novartis acquires Japanese generics business in €400m deal

Novartis has agreed to buy the Japanese business of South African generics manufacturer Aspen Pharmacare for a potential €400 million ($440.7 million).

The deal, announced yesterday, November 11, will see Novartis subsidiary Sandoz pay €300 million in cash, with deferred consideration to be paid post-sale depending on certain conditions.

“It is currently anticipated that the amount of deferred consideration to be paid will not exceed €100 million,” a Novartis press release said.

Japan is the world’s third-largest generic drugs market.

Richard Saynor, CEO of Sandoz, said that the deal would “significantly strengthen our position in this country, a stable but growing generics market”.

The drug portfolio that will change hands as part of the deal includes Xylocaine (lidocaine), a local anaesthetic; as well as immunosuppressant Imuran (azathioprine).

Novartis said that full sales of Aspen’s Japanese portfolio in 2019 amounted to €190 million.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year.

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