Aspen sells 50 pct in oncology JVs for $117 mln

JOHANNESBURG Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:42pm IST

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Aspen Pharmacare, Africa's biggest generic drugs maker, will sell its 50 percent stake in global oncology joint ventures to joint owner India's Strides Arcolab for $117 million.

As part of the deal, Strides would license the existing and future oncology products to Aspen for distribution in certain territories, Aspen said on Thursday.

The deal forms part of Aspen's plans to source certain products for supply through its international distribution network, which reaches 100 countries.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, would boost Strides manufacturing and development capacity in its Specialities business, Aspen said in a statement.

"Through these agreements we continue to build on the strong partnership we enjoy with Strides. Each party now does what they do best," Stephen Saad, Aspen Group chief executive, said.

Arun Kumar, Strides vice chairman and group CEO, said the deal provided the Bangalore-based drug maker with greater focus and ownership of a key domain in its specialist division.

Shares in Aspen rose 0.89 percent to 78.49 rand by 0728 GMT, in line with the Johannesburg JSE's blue chip Top-40 index, while Strides rallied 5.69 percent to 346.90 rupees.

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

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