Degussa Sells its ASTA Medica Subsidiary AWD.pharma to Strategic Investor PLIVA


As part of its strategy to solely focus on specialty chemicals, Degussa AG of Duesseldorf has sold its pharmaceutical affiliates AWD.pharma GmbH & Co. KG and AWD.pharma Beteiligungs-GmbH (together, “AWD.pharma”) of Dresden to PLIVA d.d. of Zagreb/Croatia for EUR 50 million. The transaction is still contingent on the approval of the German Cartel Office, but is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2001. AWD.pharma was formed out of Arzneimittelwerk Dresden GmbH (AWD) and alongside oncology, Health Products and Zentaris is one of the main business areas of the Degussa subsidiary ASTA Medica.

Prof. Dr. Utz-Hellmuth Felcht, Management Board Chairman of Degussa: "The restructuring of ASTA Medica into four individual projects last year is now bearing fruit. In addition to the divestment of Zentaris as part of the latter's IPO, AWD.pharma will be the second ASTA Medica business area to be sold. It is also a further example of the new Degussa's consistent and swift focus on specialty chemicals. Having sold dmc², Phenolchemie and the Dental business, the divestment of the whole of ASTA Medica is well on its way, and we hope we will more or less complete this project by the end of the year."

The divestments of Zentaris and AWD.pharma mean that the new Degussa will have sold within a mere four months the equivalent of more than 70 percent of approximately EUR 6.5 billion, the total turnover of the operations from which it is parting company as part of its focusing strategy.

Ideal complement in product range and regional presence

Joining forces with the powerful and successful PLIVA provides AWD.pharma with ideal prerequisites to continue the pursuit of its growth strategy in future. Moreover, both corporations complement each other ideally in terms of product range and in a regional sense. The AWD.pharma purchase will strengthen PLIVA in the area of generic pharmaceuticals and also represents a further important step in its internationalization strategy. The Croatian corporation recently made acquisitions in France and the United Kingdom to position itself for expansion into Western European markets and operates an extremely strong research and development platform.

After the restructuring of ASTA Medica, AWD.pharma re-entered the German, Central and Eastern European markets as a branded generics undertaking with about 665 employees and pro forma sales amounting to approximately EUR 120 million in fiscal 2000. The company concentrates on developing, producing, marketing and distributing generic pharmaceuticals for the treatment of cardiovascular conditions, illnesses of the central nervous system and pain.

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