Strides spans Singapore, Australia, India and Africa in Aspen generics deal

Strides CEO Arun Kumar

In a deal spanning three continents, Asia's Strides Arcolab is paying nearly $300 million for the Australian generics business of Africa's Aspen Pharmacare. The deal also includes some branded drugs.

Strides said the acquisition would give it a huge presence in the Australia pharma market in general, its generics market in particular, where it would rank third.

The business purchase was arranged through the India-based company's Singapore and Australia units. Strides said it would a new unit of the business, called Arrow Pharmaceuticals, based in Australia and initially selling about 140 prescription generics. Arrow will also market over-the-counter drugs.

Strides said the Arrow unit would be headed by Dennis Bastas, who founded and headed Ascent Pharmahealth before selling to Actavis ($ACT) just over three years ago.

Arun Kumar, who founded Strides and is now group CEO, said the acquisition would give his company a "market-leading product portfolio supported by our in-house cost-effective manufacturing."

- here's the Strides release