Valeant grabs a Middle Eastern foothold with $800M pact for Egypt's Amoun

Last month, reports said Valeant ($VRX) was stepping up talks on a deal for one of Egypt's largest drugmakers. And now, it's pulled the trigger.

The serial buyer has agreed to shell out $800 million on Amoun Pharmaceutical--plus contingent payments, it said in a statement. With that, it'll grab the leading position in Egypt's domestic pharma market and gain access to brands in the antihypertensive, broad-spectrum antibiotic and antidiarrheal spaces. Amoun is expecting to hit $223.5 million in sales this year and record a top-line swell of about 20%.

But Valeant isn't expecting to keep its new business confined to Egypt. Rather, the Canadian pharma intends for Amoun to "serve as a platform for further expansion" in the Middle East and North Africa, emerging markets that CEO J. Michael Pearson likes for their speedy growth.

Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson

Beefing up in developing nations has been on Pearson's agenda for a while now; it was one perk of the proposed Allergan ($AGN) merger, which Actavis eventually spoiled with a white knight swoop-in late last year. Since then, Valeant has made a pair of other acquisitions, though those--a buyout of North Carolina's Salix and a pickup of bankrupt Dendreon's assets--focused on different fast-expanding fields (GI and oncology, respectively).

Another burgeoning area Valeant's long had on its radar? Animal health. Last month, sources told The Wall Street Journal it had approached market leader Zoetis ($ZTS), a company in which former deal partner Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management holds a stake.

- read Valeant's release

Special Reports: The most influential people in biopharma today - J. Michael Pearson, Valeant | Pharma's top 10 M&A deals of 2013 - Valeant/Bausch + Lomb

Read more on