South Africa's Ascendis picks up manufacturing facility in $24.6M deal for Akacia

South Africa-based Ascendis Health has acquired a 23,000-square-foot manufacturing facility as part of its $24.6 million deal for the pharmaceutical business of Akacia Healthcare.

Akacia manufactures and distributes branded generic prescriptions, over-the-counter and complementary medicines, including the probiotic brand Reuterina that holds about 30% of the antidiarrheal market, BizNis Africa reported. As part of the transaction, Ascendis also gets Akacia's plant in Isando, Johannesburg, which is valued at $7.1 million. The facility is licensed by the Medicines Control Council and is certified as a Good Manufacturing Practice site.

"This will certainly elevate our presence in domestic and international pharma markets, and create a strong platform for expansion," Karsten Wellner, Ascendis' CEO, said in a statement. "We will also gain access to lucrative new channels such as retail pharmacy and prescribing doctors."

The deal for Akacia comes on the heels of Ascendis paying $16.6 million for a 49% stake in Spanish drugmaker Farmalider in August as part of the company's strategy to expand into Europe.

Wellner added that the Akacia facility will provide significant spare capacity that will allow Ascendis to increase local production of its existing pharmaceuticals while reducing its foreign exchange exposure and making it more competitive for state contracts.

The Akacia plant also produces pharma products for third parties under contract licensing agreements.

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