Aspen Pharmacare eyes another $800M in M&A

South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare has posted some strong full-year sales and profits growth, thanks in part to expansion outside its home market. Part of that growth came from its $879 million acquisition of Australia-based Sigma Pharmaceuticals' generics business. And now, Aspen may take the same tack to grow in Latin America.

Aspen could spend another $800 million on M&A as it continues its drive to expand in new markets, Deputy CEO Gus Attridge tells Reuters. "We spent about 6 billion rand on the Sigma deal and that increased our debt, but we have already brought that down quite significantly," Attridge adds. "We certainly have the capacity to do another transaction of about a similar amount."

Latin America encompasses some of the world's fastest-growing pharma markets, including Brazil and Mexico. Markets in the developing world tend to be friendly to branded generics, and Aspen is the biggest generics maker in the southern hemisphere, Reuters points out.

- read the Reuters news