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Aspen being pushed to complete sale of infant-formula unit to Lactalis by end of this month: Bloomberg
Posted on Thursday, 16 May 2019 13:40
Aspen Pharmacare Holdings is close to completing the disposal of its infant-formula business to French dairy company Groupe Lactalis after sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg the deal has been given the green light.

The South African group announced the divestment of its global nutrition business in September last year, agreeing to a EUR 739.80 million cash deal for the operations.

Earlier this year, Aspen said it expects to complete the sale by 31st May 2019 and in an emailed response to Bloomberg’s questions, the Overseas Investment Office said it does not have an update on the final decision yet.

The New Zealand regulator, according to people close to the situation, has approved the deal after completing checks on Lactalis, its directors and the transaction and the last deal and legal documents are currently being signed.

Stephen Saad, chief executive of Aspen, said: “The disposal is in line with our strategic intention to focus our attention on our core pharmaceutical business which includes the anaesthetics, thrombosis and high potency & cytotoxic portfolios.”

In the announcement in September, the company said that its global nutrition unit contributed ZAR 3.09 billion (EUR 193.66 million) to revenue and ZAR 512.00 million to segmental contribution profit for the year ended 30th June 2018.

The division comprises the S-26, Aula and Infacare brands and has operations in Latin America, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Lactalis is based in France and is a global leader in the dairy industry, with annual revenue of EUR 18.40 billion.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there have been 63 deals targeting the diary product manufacturing sector announced worldwide since the start of 2019.

The largest of these involves Saputo Diary acquiring Dairy Crest of the UK for GBP 975.00 million.

Westland Co-operative Diary Company, Clover Industries and Parmalat, among others, have also been targeted in deals this year.

© Zephus Ltd