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Strides Shasun to merge Australian unit with Apotex

Drugmaker Strides Shasun Ltd has agreed with Apotex Inc to merge their respective Australian businesses, the company said in a stock-exchange disclosure on Wednesday.

The transaction is subject to entering into definitive agreements, satisfactory due diligence, customary closing conditions and statutory approvals, Strides Shasun said. It didn’t disclose the deal value.

The merged entity will become the leading player in the Australian generic pharmaceutical market by both volume and revenue, Strides Shasun said.

Strides Shasun, which operates in Australia under Arrow Pharmaceuticals, will have a controlling interest in the merged entity.

Founded in 1974, Apotex is a Canadian pharmaceutical company. Its Australian subsidiary is Apotex Pty Ltd.

Strides said the deal doesn’t include the hospital business of Apotex.

After the merger, Strides and Apotex will be run independently under the brands Arrow and Apotex, respectively.

“Both companies are currently in a strong commercial position, but will be better positioned to meet the future challenges of the Australian pharmaceutical industry following the merger,” said Roger Millichamp, chief executive officer of Apotex Australia.

The merged entity will be led by Arrow’s Dennis Bastas as executive chairman. Millichamp will be its CEO.

Strides Shasun has been an active deal maker in recent years.

Last August, Arrow Pharmaceuticals had acquired the Australian operations of US-based Amneal Pharmaceuticals for AUD17 million (Rs 86.2 crore) to expand its presence in the generics market in Australia.

In December 2017, Strides Shasun had agreed to acquire a 55% stake in South Africa-based Trinity Pharma Proprietary Ltd for Rs 27.5 crore ($4.3 million). The month before, Strides Shasun sold its branded generics business in India for Rs 500 crore ($77 million) to Eris Lifesciences.

In March 2017, Strides Shasun sold its generic pharmaceutical products manufacturing and distribution business in Africa to Africure Pharmaceuticals Ltd for $9.9 million.

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