Medicines giant buys into Aspen

Adele Shevel

Adele Shevel

Glaxosmithkline, the worlds second largest seller of prescription medicines, is to take a 16percent stake in Aspen Pharmacare, Africa's largest pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Glaxo will be issued with 68,5million new shares - it equates to about R3,47billion in value at the date of the announcement - in the South African based company.

The details were released exactly four months after the first cautionary was issued. Finalising four concurrent deals took longer than expected because of the complexity.

In addition to the stake, Aspen obtains the right to distribute Glaxo products in South Africa for a minimum of 20 years.

Stephen Saad, group chief executive of Aspen, said: "We see this as an opportunity for Aspen to use this as a springboard into sub-Saharan Africa".