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Glaxo to buy stake in South Africa''s Aspen

March 25, 2009
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GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to take a significant stake in Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Ltd to strengthen its partnership with the South African drugmaker, people familiar with the situation said, reported by Reuters. The move, which could be announced soon, underlines Glaxo''s commitment to growing in emerging markets as part of a strategy to diversify its business. Aspen has a market value of around $2 billion so buying into the group will be no financial strain for Glaxo. The equity stake is set to cement an existing relationship between the two companies and could set the scene for further expansion of their alliance. Aspen has already partnered with Glaxo on selling medicines under a deal clinched last year. That deal gave the group access to a broad range of low-cost unpatented drugs, which Glaxo plans to re-brand as its own for sale in emerging markets from 2010. Aspen is the leading supplier of HIV/AIDS drugs in South Africa, which has the world''s highest incidence of people infected with HIV.

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