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Catalan pharmaceutical Almirall sells its respiratory subsidiary to AstraZeneca for €1.56 billion

On Wednesday the Catalan pharmaceutical company Almirall announced that they have sold the rights to their respiratory subsidiary to the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca for the initial value of €653 million ($875 million), to be paid when signing the deal. Then, further payments could reach up to an additional €910 million ($1.22 billion), depending on the AstraZeneca's success in product development, new product launches and sales. This news comes after Almirall announced a €19.1 million net profit in the first two quarters of this year, an 8.5% increase from the same period last year. With this new operation it is expected that "a significant number" of employees from the Catalan company's respiratory subsidiary will be transferred to AstraZeneca.

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30 July 2014 09:33 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).– On Wednesday the Catalan pharmaceutical company Almirall announced that they have sold the rights to their respiratory franchise to the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca for the initial value of €653 million ($875 million), to be paid at the deal's signature. Then, further payments could reach up to €910 million ($1.22 billion), depending on the AstraZaneca's success in product development, new product launches and sales. The agreement means that, subject to correspondence with the trade unions and compliance with the corresponding legislation, "a significant number" of employees from the Catalan company's respiratory subsidiary will be transferred to AstraZeneca. This news comes after Almirall announced a €19.1 billion net profit in its first quarter of this year, an 8.5% increase from the same time period of last year, according to the report from the Spanish Stock Market Authority (CNMV). The group's respiratory subsidiary earned €123.5 million, a 13.6% increase from last year, which is sure to come as good news for AstraZeneca.


Once the transaction has been finalised, the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company will own the rights to business development and marketing of Amirall's respiratory subsidiary, including the rights to the profit made from collaborations with third parties, excluding the income made from research into new therapies. The Catalan company's respiratory subsidiary includes the medicine, Eklira, which is designed to tackle chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and represents 14.4% of the company's total sales; generating €58 million in the last two quarters. 

Almirall has stated that this agreement will strengthen its financial position with immediate effect. The Catalan company's President, Jorge Gallardo, explained that the agreement "allows for a better balance between the costs, risks and returns from the respiratory subsidiary, while we keep important economic rights within its future successes". He went on to say that "this is a very solid base for us to move forward more aggressively into the speciality market, and in particular to become a global leader in dermatology".

Big successes reported by CNMV

The transaction was announced by Almirall a day after a report from Spain's Stock Market Authority (CNMV) revealed the company's financial figures from the first two quarters of 2014. In the report CNMV declared that the Catalan pharmaceutical company had earned a net profit of €19.1 million in the first half of this year, an 8.5% increase from the same period last year, and that the total turnover of the company totalled €433.4 million between January and June, a 5.6% increase from last year. The report also mentioned that Almirall had achieved a net sales total of €403.7 million, representing an increase of 17.4%, which situated the gross operating profit of the Catalan business at nearly €61.4 million, a 46.9% increase.

In terms of the individual sectors, the total turnover of the group's respiratory subsidiary was €123.5 million, a 13.6% increase from last year which represents around 30% of the sales from Almirall; good news for AstraZeneca. The company also announced positive activity from the dermatological sector, which is expected to become a major contributor to sales in 2014 following the acquisition last year of the American company Aqua Pharmaceuticals. This sector grew by 63.9% in the first two quarters of this year, making a total of €108.7 million.

The CEO of Almirall, Eduardo Sanchiz, stressed that the positive trend observed in the first half of the year will continue into the second half. He commented: "It is very satisfying to see the progress of our platforms for growth and the continued improvement of the gross margin". He added that these positive statistics, combined with the general trend to spend less in the second half of the year, will provide a boost to the growth of the normalised net profit in 2014 and give "confidence to reiterate this year's financial forecasts".

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  • Almirall headquarters in Barcelona (by ACN)

  • Almirall headquarters in Barcelona (by ACN)