Jordanian generics drugmaker Hikma Pharmaceuticals says that it has agreed to acquire Alkan Pharma of Egypt for $60.5 million in cash in a deal that will be funded entirely by debt and is scheduled to complete in the second half of 2007.

Alkan develops, manufactures and markets generics in both solid and liquid form for the Egyptian market and has 175 registered drugs, “including nearly 60 products under license from leading multinational pharmaceutical companies”. Alkan’s portfolio spans a number of therapeutic categories, including alimentary and metabolic, musculoskeletal and infectious disease and it was noted that the company has 140 products pending registration.

Alkan’s sales have grown by 18% and 34% in the past two years, respectively, and turnover in 2006 reached $14.6 million, while pretax profits were $3.5 million, up from $1.5 million. Said Darwazah, chief executive of Hikma, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, said that Alkan’s local manufacturing capabilities, strong product portfolio and registration pipeline, together with its significant 200-strong sales force, “provides Hikma with an excellent platform from which to access the large and growing Egyptian market”.