6. Aspen

2014 Generics Sales: $3 billion +13%
Worldwide Market Share: 4.1%

International expansion is the name of Aspen Pharmacare's generics game. The Durban, South Africa-based drugmaker embarked on a land grab this past year, collecting a sizable payoff from $2 billion worth of deals while scouting out new products and companies across the globe. And the company's international business benefited as a result, more than doubling during the last 6 months of 2014 with revenues of 2.5 billion South African rand ($179 million).

Part of the company's strategy involved expanding its footprint in Asia. In 2014, the company unveiled Aspen Japan to cash in on the country's rapidly growing pharma market, with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) holding a 25% share.

But dealmaking also played a role, with the wave of consolidation hitting the industry creating "a number of acquisitive opportunities" for the company, it said in its 2014 financial results. And Aspen is "looking the hardest" in Asia for potential deals, CEO Stephen Saad said earlier this year. 

Dealmaking has gotten it to where it sits today. In 2010, the company bought Sigma Pharmaceuticals' generics business, giving it a quarter of Australia's generics market and seeing it become country's largest manufacturer of prescription drugs. In 2013, Aspen grabbed a set of GlaxoSmithKline's heart medicines and a related manufacturing site in France for about $1.1 billion, and shelled out $1 billion to Merck ($MRK) for 11 products and API operations. The two deals allowed the generics maker to establish operations in Russia and Europe and bolster its presence in Latin America and Asia.

But it has no aversion to selling assets as well. In May 2015, Aspen sold a portfolio of branded and generic products to deal-hungry Endo International ($ENDP) for about $130 million. A week later, Aspen handed its Australian generic pharma business and related assets to India's Strides Arcolab for a combined $301 million, lightening its load and adding extra cash to its pot as it continues its global push.

"These transactions form part of Aspen's communicated strategic intent to focus attention in areas where most value can be added and to lessen complexity," the company said at the time of its Strides deal--a familiar refrain as the company continues its tradition of expanding abroad.

-- Emily Wasserman (email | Twitter)

For more:
Strides Arcolab pays $287M for Aspen Pharmacare's Australian business
Aspen unloads $301M worth of meds to fuel expansion abroad
Aspen eyes more overseas buys after recent deals pay off

6. Aspen

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