FILE PHOTO: An Aspen Pharmacare logo is seen at outside company offices in Woodmead
DURBAN – Aspen Pharmacare said yesterday that it was waiting for the approval from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office to complete the disposal of its Nutritionals business to the Lactalis Group.

The group announced in September last year that it expected to dispose of the business for R12.9billion.

“Positive progress has been made in satisfying of the conditions precedent and all but one of the conditions which are reliant on third-party consent had been fulfilled before the end of February.

"The outstanding third-party condition relates to approval by New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office for Lactalis to invest in that country. The remaining conditions precedent are within the control of the parties,” the group said.

It added that the parties are mutually committed to working towards a closing date for this transaction which is at the end of May.

In the results published yesterday, the Nutritionals business has been classified as discontinued and the related assets transferred to assets held-for-sale.

Going forward Aspen said the pending completion of the Nutritionals disposal will allow it to completely focus on pharmaceuticals.

“Aspen has embarked on a strategic review of its European and South African commercial pharmaceuticals businesses.

"As an outcome of the first phase of the South African review it has been decided to split South African Commercial Pharmaceuticals into two distinct divisions to achieve heightened product and customer focus. The second phase of the review will concentrate on developing strategies specific to each division to optimise value delivery,” the group said.

Aspen added that any re-shaping of the group would be aimed at driving sustainable organic growth with a strong emphasis on emerging markets.

In the results, the group reported a 1percent increase in revenue from continuing operations to R19.67bn for the six months to end December, up from R19.51bn.