Australia’s CSL Ltd is forking out $3.1 billion to take on fellow blood plasma company Talecris in a bid to extend its outreach.

The move would see the development of a combined company with one of the broadest portfolios in plasma-derived therapeutics and collection capabilities in the industry.

“We are very pleased to have entered into the merger agreement with CSL. We at Talecris have long admired CSL. The opportunity for our employees, customers, distributors, suppliers – and most importantly our patients – to benefit from being part of the CSL family is exciting,” Talecris chairman and chief executive Lawrence Stern said.

US-based Talecris, which made $1.2 billion in revenues last year, makes for a good asset for CSL. Just in June, Talecris disclosed it had completed a complex upgrade of its North Carolina manufacturing facility and was on-track with the vertical integration of its plasma supply chain, including the opening of four new plasma collection centres in the US, thereby increasing the supply of products.

Plasma products are used as a source material for protein therapies to treat immunology, pulmonology and haemostasis disorders.

Currently the global plasma-product market is worth about $15 billion.

Bloomberg reported the Talecris purchase is expected to boost CSL’s sales by more than a third.

The deal would also increase the rivalry between CSL and current blood plasma market leader Baxter International.

Talecris currently produces Gamunex, an IGIV therapy that contains antibodies purified from the donated blood plasma. Gamunex is indicated as replacement therapy of primary humoral immunodeficiency disease (PI) and as immunomodulatory therapy for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

In addition to the deal, the two companies have entered into a separate agreement which will see CSL supplying Talecris with a significant amount of plasma through to 2013 to ensure an uninterrupted flow of products.

The deal is still subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

Talecris has 53 plasma collection centres and two manufacturing facilities.