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  • Aspen closes EUR 1,26 billion syndicated loan facilities
    on 08.11.2022

    Durban, South Africa - JSE Limited listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (APN), a global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, has closed a multi-currency, syndicated term loan and revolving credit facilities agreement. These facilities, totalling circa EUR 1,26 billion equivalent, were put in place to refinance Aspen’s 2018 syndicated loan facilities.  The facilities were structured across EUR, ZAR and AUD term and revolving credit facilities, with tenors of three to four years and additional extension options available. All facilities were consolidated into a single facility agreement, with lenders ranking pari-passu. Following primary syndication, the transaction was significantly oversubscribed thereby providing substantial scale-back to the lenders. Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive said, “We are very pleased with the outcome of this syndication particularly noting the current global risk-off sentiment. It is encouraging to see that all invited lenders have supported the transaction which is testament to their confidence in the Aspen Group.” Citi, FirstRand Bank Limited, acting through its Rand Merchant Bank division (“RMB”), MUFG Bank (Europe) N.V. (“MUFG”), and Nedbank Limited, acting through its Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking division ("Nedbank") acted as Coordinators, Bookrunners and Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers for this transaction. MUFG acted as the Documentation Agent while ABSA Bank Limited acted as Facility Agent and RMB as the Publicity Agent.  Coordinators, Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners: CitiRMBMUFGNedbank Mandated Lead Arrangers: ABSA Bank LimitedBNP ParibasChina Construction Bank Corporation, Johannesburg BranchIntesa Sanpaolo Bank Luxembourg S.A.Investec Bank LimitedJPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., London BranchMizuho Bank LimitedNational Australia Bank LimitedSanlam Life Insurance (acting through its Sanlam Specialised Finance Division)Standard Chartered BankSumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited The Standard Bank of South Africa Limited Lead Arrangers: AfrAsia Bank LimitedBank of America 

  • Aspen delivers double digit organic growth in normalised EBITDA, operating profit and earnings
    on 31.08.2022

    Johannesburg – JSE-listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (APN), a global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, is pleased to report reviewed provisional Group financial results for the year ended 30 June 2022. SALIENT FEATURES Revenue from continuing operations increased by 2% (+5% in constant exchange rate (“CER”)) to R38,6 billion (FY2021: R37,8 billion); Normalised EBITDA from continuing operations…

  • Aspen concludes a collaboration agreement to manufacture and make available four Aspen-branded vaccines for Africa.
    on 31.08.2022

    Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive Durban, South Africa - JSE Limited listed Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (APN), a global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, is pleased to announce that one of its wholly-owned South African subsidiaries, Aspen SA Operations (Pty) Limited (“Aspen SA Operations”), has concluded a ten-year agreement (“the Agreement”) with Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd (“the Serum Institute”), the world’s largest vaccine producer, for Aspen SA Operations to manufacture, market and distribute four Aspen-branded routine vaccines in Africa, excluding certain markets due to the Serum Institute having grated prior rights to third parties. The terms of Agreement for the vaccines, namely Pneumococcal Vaccine, Rotavirus Vaccine, Poly valent Meningococcal Vaccine and Hexavalent Vaccine (“the Products”), include a technical transfer and formulation, fill and finish arrangement which grants Aspen SA Operations the rights to: (i)      manufacture the Products from bulk drug substance supplied by the Serum Institute; and  (ii)     make available the Products to markets in Africa by means of transactions with designated multilateral organisations, national governments of member states of the African Union (“AU”), and other public and private market customers.  Under the Agreement, Aspen SA Operations has secured a license to the enabling know how from the Serum Institute and there is a good faith undertaking between the Parties to discuss the expansion of the Agreement to include new products or new versions of the Products.  In addition to the Agreement, Aspen also anticipates receiving grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (”the Gates Foundation”) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (“CEPI”) to support African regional manufacturing capacity for the affordable supply of vaccines to, among others, African countries and Gavi / UNICEF, as well as contributing to pandemic preparedness through rights to a share of Aspen’s vaccine manufacturing capacity over a period of ten years. According to Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), currently less than 1% of vaccines used on the continent contain any local manufacture, yet through GAVI, UNICEF, COVAX and the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (“AVATT”), hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine are supplied to African countries to support both the Expanded Programme on Immunization (“EPI”), protecting children from a range of vaccine preventable diseases, as well as the provision of COVID-19 vaccines for the general population. Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive said, “Africa has learnt from the experience of previous pandemics including HIV and now COVID, that regional capacities are fundamental to solving regional health challenges. The agreement concluded with the Serum Institute, and the anticipated grant funding from the Gates Foundation and CEPI, complement our previously stated commitment to expand sustainable and durable vaccine manufacturing on the continent to reduce Africa’s global vaccine dependency. We look forward to partnering with Adar and the Serum Institute. They are the largest manufacturers of vaccines globally and have a proven record of supporting universal healthcare. Aspen is now well-positioned as a first mover to contribute to Continental and, by implication, global health security through the provision of world-class, competitive and proven vaccine manufacturing capability and capacity.” The Products will be produced at Aspen’s manufacturing facility in Gqeberha which has accreditation from a range of stringent international regulatory authorities and provides medicines and vaccines to improve the health and quality of life of patients in both the domestic and international markets. Adar Poonawalla, The Serum Institute CEO, said  “We are pleased to be partnering with Aspen and to support them in fulfilling their vaccine ambitions for Africa. We endorse their efforts to contribute towards reducing the Continent’s global vaccine dependency and we are confident that the Products will provide enhanced opportunities of wellbeing for all patients in Africa.” Mark Suzman, Chief Executive Officer, Gates Foundation, said, “Despite significant successes in expanding access to vaccines and reducing child mortality, the recent inequities exposed by the COVID pandemic have clearly highlighted the need to strengthen Africa’s capacity to manufacture its own life-saving vaccines. As a critical step to closing this gap we are proud to be able to provide financial and technical support to this new partnership between the Serum Institute of India and Aspen and look forward to working closely with them and other regional partners to expand the supply and sources of vaccines for African and global markets going forward. This is in line with our work over two decades with a range of partners, including GAVI and Serum, to help build a diversified ecosystem to develop, manufacture and distribute high-quality, low-cost vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.” Dr Richard Hatchett, CEPI Chief Executive Officer, added “CEPI’s partnership with Aspen, SII, and BMGF is an exciting step towards expanding vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa, for Africa. This partnership will enhance the region’s health security and represents an important step towards preventing the kind of gross inequities of access to lifesaving vaccines that emerged during the pandemic. “Manufacturers need sustainable and resilient business models between outbreaks, so their facilities and workforce can be ready to spring into action when needed during an epidemic or pandemic, and public sector investment will be key to unlocking this sustainability in Africa. We are proud to be part of an effort that will secure critically needed vaccine manufacturing capacity in Africa, for Africa, so that it can be ready when it faces future epidemic or pandemic threats.” On 10 May 2022, The AU called for agencies responsible for bulk purchasing of vaccines to offtake at least 30% of all vaccines produced by Africa for global consumption. In Africa, 99% of all vaccines administered are currently imported. Enhancing access to medicines is at the forefront on Aspen’s ESG strategy. “Africa is a significant consumer of a range of vaccines and demand will grow further in the next decade, yet the vast bulk of those vaccines are sourced from outside the continent. The Covid pandemic laid bare Africa’s vulnerability when supplies are constrained globally. We therefore welcome the announcement of the partnership for the production of routine vaccines by Aspen,” said Mr Ebrahim Patel, South Africa’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition. “The South African government has worked closely with the domestic pharma industry and other partners on the continent to strengthen vaccine supply security, reduce reliance on imports, improve access to vaccines and kickstart the biotechnology sector in SA and on the continent. This development is consistent with these ambitions and is a significant first step to the African Union achieving its stated objective of reducing vaccine imports from 99% to 40% by 2040. We look forward to global and continental procurement agencies shifting their sourcing to help achieve the 40% African production objective,” Minister Patel said. Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Acting Director, Africa CDC said “We are very pleased to hear about the announcement by Aspen that it will Manufacture and make available four Routine Vaccine for Communicable diseases in Africa. This is a very important step for African Vaccines Manufacture and is in line with  three important aspects of Africa CDC’s Work.  Firstly, it has responded to the AU Heads of State call for 30% of Vaccines for Africa are to be procured from African Producers.  Secondly, it is in line with the goals and ambitions of an African Partnership on Vaccine Manufacture to expand access on the Continent. Lastly, it is in line with the African new order of strengthening local Manufacture of all health products including Vaccines. I Congratulate Aspen on this very important step and look forward to stimulating further Vaccine Manufacture on the African Continent.” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organisation Regional Director, said, “Unlike any other health emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the dangers of the continent’s continuing dependency on health commodities produced elsewhere, and compelled the need for Africa to enhance its local manufacturing capacity. We welcome this initiative as it marks a critical milestone in the continent’s push for self-sufficiency in vaccines, diagnostic and therapeutic products.” Strive Masiyiwa, Head of AVATT said, “During the height of the pandemic it became clear to myself and my AVATT colleagues set up by the AU Chair President Cyril Ramaphosa, that the only way to secure vaccines early was through production facilities on the African continent. This was because nations that had such production facilities were restricting exports until such time as they had met the needs of their own citizens.  Aspen emerged at the time as the largest pharmaceutical company in Africa which had the full capability and capacity to respond to Africa’s desperate situation and began to produce the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on behalf of the continent. We at AVATT are so pleased with this latest development as it is yet another major milestone in ensuring that Africa has capacity on the ground to meet vaccine demand should another crisis emerge again.” “The Secretariat of the AU COVID-19 Commission wishes to extend its congratulations to Aspen for this important development. The COVID-19 Commission set out to position Africa as a biotech investment destination and we are excited to see this manifesting as Aspen and the Serum Institute announce this ground breaking partnership. The COVID-19 Commission will continue to work together with the Partnership on Africa’s Vaccine Manufacturing (“PAVM”) and other partners towards the goal of producing 60% of Africa’s required vaccine on African soil by 2040,” said Dr Lwazi Manzi, Head of the AU COVID 19 Commission Secretariat The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the recent World Health Organisation’s declaration of Monkeypox being a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, have underscored the need for continental vaccine research and development as well as manufacturing to be expanded and supported. As recognised by the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (“PAVM”), a foundation of consistent, ongoing routine vaccination demand is required to manage the outbreak, epidemic and pandemic vaccine manufacturing capability and capacity needed to support regional and global health security. Click here to access an announcement message from each of the following stakeholders: Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health, Gates Foundation Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director of the Africa, CDC Dr Richard Hatchett, Chief Executive Officer, CEPI

  • Aspen partners with HappiMe to support Jiyana Secondary School
    on 12.08.2022

    Stavros Nicolaou, far left with students who gratefully received Aspen's donation of computers and tablets. Johannesburg - Aspen Pharmacare, a leading global specialty and branded multinational pharmaceutical company, has donated 25 computers and 30 tablets to Jiyana Secondary School which produced one of the top performing students in Ekurhuleni in 2021. This donation forms part of the “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow” program of the United Nations and involved a collaboration between Aspen, HappiMe and the South African Presidency, where the Ministry of Women and Children is hosted. In March 2022, Aspen also refurbished Jiyana’s computer laboratory and provided additional equipment to enhance learning within this area of the school’s curriculum. These donations exemplify Aspen’s ongoing dedication towards ensuring the empowerment of our youth, women and South Africa’s future leaders. Aspen, together with the HappiMe Foundation, also donated sanitary pads for 894 girls in support of Women’s Month and as part of the Help a Girl Child Pad Drive in a bid to address and assist in combating the prevalent issue of period poverty, which has caused the stigmatisation and associated absence of female scholars. Stavros Nicolaou Aspen Group Senior Executive Strategic Trade said, “Aspen is fully committed to the future of our young people and these donations represent a gateway to quality education and future leadership opportunities. These students already have capable teachers, so providing this additional support will give them a further advantage and assist in prospectively producing additional top achieving students at the end of the academic year. The donation of hygiene products is in line with our key sustainability goals of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages, as well as achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls.” Aspen officially handed over the donation together with the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Thembi Siweya who said, “We want to thank Aspen for this positive gesture and their keen interest in community development. We hope that the school management and learners will look after this equipment and use it to improve the learning outcomes.” Dr Keorapetse Tabane-Hlongwa, founder of the HappiMe Foundation who qualified as the first black medical oncologist in South Africa in 2008, initially approached Aspen to partner with the HappiMe Foundation in their dedicated fight against period poverty. This Foundation strives to provide sanitary towels to girls in disadvantaged communities in order to combat unnecessary school absenteeism. Dr Tabane-Hlongwa said, “We hope to connect with and inspire them, their story echoing ours, having grown up in similar communities as them. We want girls to be reminded that they can, they matter, they are seen, that they are.”

  • Aspen’s response to Monkeypox being declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by WHO
    on 28.07.2022

    Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive Durban - JSE listed company Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (Aspen), a global multinational specialty pharmaceutical company, is positively positioned to respond as a third party for capacity fill opportunities following the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) declaration of monkeypox being a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This declaration is the first since that announced by WHO for COVID-19 in January 2020.  At the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, Aspen was able to swiftly respond by making its extensive sterile formulation, fill and finish capabilities available in response to immediate surging demands. It would be in a position to step in and replicate this for Monkeypox should global circumstances and demands require this. Monkeypox was declared a PHEIC by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a press conference on 23 July 2022. The announcement was made given the rapid spread of the virus which has increased from 3 040 cases in 47 countries in June 2022 to more than 16 000 reported cases from 75 countries and territories, with five deaths reported.  Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive said, “Aspen has always been at the forefront of providing healthcare solutions for global pandemics, as we did with the launch of one of the first generic antiretrovirals for the treatment of HIV/Aids in August 2003. We also responded swiftly and decisively to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, initially through global contributions which we made with both our anaesthetics portfolio and dexamethasone supply. This action complemented our initiatives to build capacity and expertise to support global efforts and, in particular, address vaccine access inequality. This was achieved through partnership and licensing arrangements culminating in the potential to manufacture and supply the first and only locally finished COVID-19 vaccine, Aspenovax, in Africa for Africa.” “Aspen once again stands ready to support the global effort needed to contain the latest threat which monkeypox represents, and we are available to do so through collaborations that would utilise our world class sterile and vaccine manufacturing facilities.” Aspen has invested significantly in its sterile manufacturing site in Gqeberha, this being the single largest investment in the pharmaceutical industry in South Africa. The sterile facility, which was officially opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2021, contains high-technology, state-of-the-art pharmaceutical equipment and systems to manufacture advanced sterile medicines, including vaccines. 

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