JOHANNESBURG – Africa’s largest drugmaker, Aspen, yesterday lost nearly R25 billion of its market capitalisation as investors issued a stinging rebuke of the group’s €740 million (R12.8bn) sale of its nutrition unit to French-based Lactalis.
Some market pundits deemed the price undervalued the business. The group saw its share price plunge 17.43 percent to R225, shedding R47.50.
“We still have to look but the price for infant business could be lower,” said Wayne McCurrie from FNB Wealth and Investments as he tried to explain the plunge.
Market expectations were that the group would fetch $1 billion to $1.5bn for the unit.
The group said the disposal of its nutrition business, with brands such as Infacare, was to focus on its pharmaceutical businesses, which it expects to drive increased business efficiency and performance.