Glaxo goes deeper into Africa with $418M deal

More emerging markets deal action in Big Pharma. But this time it's not Sanofi-Aventis forging more deeply into the developing world, but GlaxoSmithKline. In a $418 million asset-swap arrangment with Africa's biggest generics maker, Aspen Pharmacare, Glaxo has nabbed a 16 percent stake in exchange for global rights to eight GSK drugs and a manufacturing plant in Germany.

The deal also includes joint sales efforts: Aspen will distribute Glaxo's meds in South Africa, and the two companies will work together to sell their products across the remainder of the continent. "The combination of our commercial activities in Sub-Saharan Africa is highly complementary," said GSK Emerging Markets President Abbas Hussain in a statement. "At the same time, GSK will also benefit from investing in one of Africa's leading healthcare companies with a formidable track record of delivery."

Glaxo hooked up with Aspen in July, with an agreement for Glaxo to supply generic versions of its meds to the South African company. This new, more extensive arrangement could help Glaxo offset the erosion of its brands to generic competition, analysts said. "It follows on from the existing collaboration nicely," Matrix Corporate Capital analyst Navid Malik told Bloomberg. "GSK has a clear interest in the emerging markets with generics so taking the equity stake reinforces the strategic direction."

- read the GSK release
- check out the story from Bloomberg

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