Sandoz, a biosimilars division of Novartis, has signed an agreement to acquire the Japanese operations of Aspen Global Incorporated (AGI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, for €400m.

Under the terms of the transaction, Sandoz will pay the initial cash consideration of €300m, and will pay certain deferred consideration of more than €100m to AGI, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions after closing. The proposed transaction includes Aspen Japan’s shares and associated assets held by AGI.

Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said: “The acquisition of Aspen’s Japanese operations would significantly strengthen our position in this country, a stable but growing generics market. We are committed to helping address patient and customer needs in the market as we aspire to become the world’s leading and most valued generics company.”

Aspen Japan’s portfolio includes about 20 products

Aspen Japan is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AGI and is part of the Aspen Group, headquartered in Durban, South Africa. The company has reported €130m in sales for the fiscal year ending in 2019.

The company holds a portfolio of approximately 20 products, including off-patent branded medicines focused on anaesthetics, such as Xylocaine, speciality brands including Imuran and local brands in Japan.

In addition, AGI has signed a five-year manufacturing and supply agreement with Sandoz, which can be extended to an additional two years.

Under the agreement, AGI will supply active pharmaceutical ingredients, semi-finished and finished goods related to the portfolio of divested brands, following the completion of the transaction.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020, subject to fulfilment of certain customary closing conditions.

Sandoz said that the acquisition would complement its portfolio and pipeline of hospital generic and biosimilar products, and facilitate the expansion of its presence in the generics marketplace.

In addition, the company intends to enhance its capabilities in serving patients and customers in the hospital channel through a dedicated sales, marketing and medical organisation.