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Novartis sells flu vaccines business to CSL for $275m

Follows the Swiss pharma company's asset swap deals with GSK

Swiss pharma company NovartisNovartis is set to divest its influenza vaccine business to CSL, six months after selling the majority of its vaccines interests to GlaxoSmithKline for $7bn.

CSL will pay $275m for Novartis' flu vaccines unit, which will be combined with its bioCSL subsidiary, and the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Joseph Jimenez, CEO of Novartis, said: "In CSL, we have found not only an owner for the influenza business that shares our commitment to protecting public health, but also a strong growth platform for the business and our associates."

The move will bring CSL a business whose 2013 sales reached $527m and make the Australian biopharma company one of the biggest players in the global influenza vaccine market.

CSL said it expects to see its annual influenza sales approach $1bn over the next three to five years, buoyed by Novartis' products portfolio and infrastructure.

CSL's managing director and chief executive officer Paul Perreault said: “The Novartis influenza vaccine business provides bioCSL with a global leadership position in an attractive sector we understand intimately. It will transform bioCSL by giving it first class facilities and global scale as well as product and geographic diversity.

“CSL has demonstrated its ability to make the most of specialist pharmaceutical acquisitions in areas we know well and this transaction has the potential to create a global platform for bioCSL that is comparable in many aspects to our global protein science business.”

For Novartis the deal is one of the last pieces in the billion dollar reorganisation it announced earlier this year.

Central to this was a series of major deals with GSK – in addition to selling most of its vaccines business to the British pharma company, Novartis will buy GSK's oncology portfolio for $16bn and the two companies will combine their consumer healthcare businesses into a new joint venture.

Novartis also agreed to sell its animal health division to Lilly for $5.4bn in a separate deal.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

27th October 2014

From: Research, Sales

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