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Acino buys Cephalon’s Middle East/Africa unit for 80M euros

World News | October 17, 2011


Kevin Grogan

Acino buys Cephalon’s Middle East/Africa unit for 80M euros

Shares in Acino have shot up after the Swiss drugmaker said it is to buy the Middle East and African business of Cephalon, which has itself just been acquired by Teva.

Under the terms of the agreement, Acino will pay 60 million in cash and 20 million euros in new shares to acquire the business, which includes drugs from Cephalon's Swiss generics unit Mepha. The latter was only  bought at the beginning of last year by Cephalon from Germany's Merckle family for 622.5 million Swiss francs (about $590 million).

It therefore looks as though Acino has picked up a bargain. The portfolio it is getting, which is expected to generate sales of close to 100 million euros in 2011, includes the analgesic Olfen (diclofenac), the antispasmotic Spasfon (phloroglucinol/trimethylphloroglucinol), the gastrointestinal drug Gasec (omeprazole) and the antibiotic Mesporin (ceftriaxone).

Peter Burema, Acino's chief executive, said the deal is "a quantum leap" for the firm towards establishing its own presence in emerging markets. He went on to say that "this is a game-changing acquisition for our company [and] the acquired products ideally complement our own portfolio".

The deal was announced hours after Teva closed its $6.8 billion purchase of Cephalon. The Israeli drugmaker noted that the combined company will have a significant presence in over 60 countries and generated $20 billion in revenues on a pro forma basis for the year ended June 2011.

Teva chief executive Shlomo Yanai said the transaction reinforces the firm's long-term strategy of building  up branded and specialty pharmaceuticals business. He added that "our newly-expanded portfolio in CNS, oncology, respiratory and women's health, along with our robust pipeline of more than 30 late-stage products, truly cements our position as a leader in specialty pharma".

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