GlaxoSmithKline Pockets $853 Million by Halving Stake in Aspen Pharmacare

Published: Mar 13, 2015

GlaxoSmithKline Pockets $853 Million by Halving Stake in Aspen Pharmacare
March 13, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

GlaxoSmithKline confirmed today that it has sold half of its stake in Aspen Pharmacare Ltd., a South African-based drugmaker, and received $853 million as a result. The company will now hold 28.2 million shares in Aspen, representing 6.2 percent of issued share capital.

Simon Dingemans, chief financial officer for GlaxoSmithKline, told Reuters that the move will help the company invest in new opportunities.

"As we continue to reshape the group around our core franchises and drive the benefits from the Novartis AG transaction, optimizing our financial flexibility to invest behind these priorities is key," Dingemans told the news source. Dingemans said the company believes in the strategy of Aspen and remains committed to working with it in the future.

GlaxoSmithKline noted that proceeds from the transaction will go toward general corporate purposes, and net profit from the deal will not be included in its core operating profit numbers. GlaxoSmithKline will also no longer account for Aspen as an associate moving forward.

Aspen Sees Its Revenue Surge
In the beginning of March 2015, Aspen announced revenue results from the six-month mark of its fiscal year. The company noted that it had seen a 47 percent increase in gross revenue to approximately $1.5 billion.

“We are pleased with the Group’s excellent performance,” said Stephen Saad, chief executive of Aspen. “These results were underpinned by the expansion of our International business, which now contributes 46 percent to the group’s gross revenue. The nutritionals products have also made an increased contribution to the group.”

Aspen also saw its operating profit rise 50 percent, and its headline earnings per share increased by 22 percent.

“The global pharmaceutical industry is experiencing a prevalence of restructuring and consolidation, which creates acquisitive opportunities,” Saad continued. “Aspen is well placed to participate in these and its proven capability to successfully execute complex multi-territory transactions makes Aspen a strong candidate for such opportunities.”

Aspen provides branded and generic pharmaceuticals in more than 150 countries around the world. It has 26 manufacturing facilities at 18 sites on six continents, and more than 8,200 people work for the company. Aspen is South Africa’s leading pharmaceutical company in the private sector.

BioSpace Temperature Poll
Vertex Pharmaceuticals made news last week when it terminated leases on three properties in Cambridge, Mass, that freed up 313,000 square feet of space in the Genetown area. The company has spent a significant part of 2014 consolidating its operations on the South Boston waterfront, leasing 291,000 square feet of office space at West Kendall Street in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. So we wanted to ask the BioSpace community: Is Boston going to be getting more biotech leases anytime soon, or fewer tenants?

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