South Africa’s Aspen strikes distribution deal with U.S. drugmaker Mylan

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Aspen Pharmacare has struck a deal with U.S. generics maker Mylan to distribute a portfolio of prescription and over-the-counter drugs in Australia and New Zealand.

The arrangement by Aspen Global Incorporated and its Australian subsidiaries includes an option for Mylan to buy the portfolio for approximately 188 million Australian dollars ($136 million), the company said in a statement.

Aspen said the deal was part of efforts to allow “enhanced operational focus” and reduce complexity, which also included it ending several third party licenses in Australia.

Separately, Aspen said it expects the sale of its infant formula business which it announced in September to French company Lactalis for 12.9 billion rand ($907 million) to take place by the first quarter of 2019.

Proceeds from the disposal will be used to reduce debt and it has engaged with its creditors to negotiate a conditional and temporary adjustment to its leverage ratio covenant as of the end of December, Aspen said.

This will allow for an increase in the covenant limit, should the transaction not be completed by Dec. 31.

Reporting by Patricia Aruo; Editing by Alexander Smith

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