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Standard Bank Group announces a landmark deal in pharmaceuticals
7 March 2011

One of the largest South African debt underwriting deals in more than a year is the conclusion of Aspens' Aus$900-million acquisition of the Australian pharmaceutical business of Sigma Limited. 

Standard Bank Group underwrote Aus$800-million and also acted as lead arranger and debt advisor in Aspen's acquisition of Sigma's pharmaceutical division.

Aspen is South Africa's leading pharmaceutical company. It is a substantial player in emerging markets, supplying branded and generic pharmaceuticals in about 100 countries, as well as consumer and nutritional products in selected territories. 

David Renwick, Director and Head of Diversified Lending and Leverage at Standard Bank Group, says: "We're proud to announce this deal in conjunction with Aspen as it is a significant single bank underwrite in a market that has had an aversion to such activity for some time now.

"Its key attributes are that it demonstrates Standard Bank's ability to support South African corporate clients in their expansion abroad, as well as a capability in handling cross-border deals. I believe our ability and willingness to provide large underwriting underlines Standard Bank's commitment to Aspen as its client." 

He adds that as cross-border mergers and acquisitions begin a new growth cycle in South Africa, Standard Bank is ideally positioned to leverage off its cross border and domestic expertise in leverage and acquisition finance transactions.

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