A week after its chief executive said the Chinese market represents too much of a risk for the firm, Actavis has sold its interest in a subsidiary based in Foshan, Guangdong to Zhejiang Chiral Medicine Chemicals Co.

Sigurdur Oli Olafsson, Actavis president said the operations in Foshan "were limited in scope and we believe that their value will be better capitalised on by Chiral". The latter will add "manufacturing and marketing capabilities allowing them to expand their portfolio and strengthen their position in the Chinese market", he added.

Mr Olafsson went on to say that Actavis is focused on "strengthening our investment in high-growth markets where our size and scale allow us to maintain a competitive presence with the leading companies in the market".

Financial terms have not been disclosed for selling the stake in Actavis (Foshan) Pharmaceutical Co, a joint venture with Foshan Chanbende Development. It produces antibiotics and other products for use in the treatment of the digestive and cardiovascular system and Actavis added that it intends to continue further commercial operations in China "in collaboration with its preferred business partners'.

The sale follows an interview given by CEO Paul Bisaro to Bloomberg where he told the news agency that China is "too risky" a place to do business. Given Actavis' limited presence in China, he said “it wasn’t worth the aggravation, the frustration or the concern”.

Actavis has also just agreed to sell its generic drug operations in seven western European countries - France, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Germany - to India's Aurobindo for 30 million euros.