GlaxoSmithKline said today it agreed to sell its thrombosis brands, Arixtra® and Fraxiparine®, and the Notre-Dame de Bondeville (NDB) manufacturing site to The Aspen Group (Aspen) for £700 million ($1.13 billion) cash, including £100 million ($161.5 million) related to inventory. GSK said the deal reflected a shift of focus to products with the most growth potential, including candidates in advanced clinical stages.
Aspen will acquire near-global rights to the anticoagulants Arixtra and Fraxiparine. The deal excludes China, India, and Pakistan. An undisclosed number of employees committed to those brands will join Aspen, as will most of the employees based at the NDB manufacturing site. In Indonesia, however, GSK will continue to distribute and market the brands under license from Aspen.
Subject to regulatory approvals, GSK said it expects most commercial operations will transfer to Aspen by year's end, with the remainder, along with the NDB site, to follow in the first half of 2014. Total sales of Arixtra and Fraxiparine in the territories affected by the deal were £177 million ($285.8 million) in the first half of 2013.
"Arixtra and Fraxiparine are established products that have consistently delivered strong revenues. However, our focus is on delivering an unprecedented late-stage pipeline and preparing for the launch of approved medicines," David Redfern, GSK's chief strategy officer, said in a statement. "Aspen is a long-term partner of GSK and will be able to dedicate the resources that these products deserve to take them forward."
GSK owns an 18.6% stake in Aspen, a maker of generic drugs that is Africa's largest pharmaceutical manufacturer. The GSK-Aspen deal will "preserve the vast majority of jobs" affected, Redfern added.
Aspen's net cash proceeds from the transaction after tax and transaction costs are expected to be approximately £600 million ($968.9 million). GSK said the proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, with the net profit on disposal to be excluded from core operating profit and core earnings per share in 2013.
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