Australian group CSL has snapped up Novartis’ influenza vaccines for $275 million, in a move that should give its subsidiary bioCSL a number two standing in the global marketplace.

Novartis’ flu jabs turned in a loss of $138 million last year, despite sales of $527 million, but CSL is confident that it can turn the business around.

“The combined business will have a strong growth profile and is expected to achieve sales approaching $1 billion per annum over the next three to five years,” CSL said, according to The Australian.

The sale completes an internal rejig at Novartis unveiled earlier this year, which saw the Swiss drug giant sell its vaccines business (except the flu arm) to GlaxoSmithKline, in a bid to hone its focus on cancer and release areas of drag.

“In CSL, we have found not only an owner for the influenza business that shares our commitment to protecting public health, but also a strong growth platform for the business and our associates," said Joseph Jimenez, Novartis’ chief executive, commenting on the move.

This transaction requires regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second half of 2015.