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Ascendis Health


Johannesburg – Health and wellness group Ascendis Health is to sell the Efekto, Marltons and Afrikelp businesses within Ascendis Biosciences in a management buy-out led by RMB Ventures and Nedbank Private Equity for R480 million

The sale forms part of Ascendis Health’s divestment of non-core assets and businesses announced in September 2018.

Chief executive officer Thomas Thomsen said: “Following our strategic business review last year the Biosciences division was considered as non-core to the group’s strategy and was identified for sale. While these Biosciences businesses are performing well, they serve a different set of customers and require capabilities and skills that are not core to Ascendis Health.”

He said the management buy-out will ensure the sale businesses retain critical leadership skills and expertise to enable them to grow in their new ownership environment. The buy-out team is being led by Jayen Pather, currently the managing director of Ascendis Phyto-Vet, together with other senior Ascendis Biosciences executives.

“RMB Ventures and Nedbank Private Equity (a division of Nedbank CIB) have teamed up as consortium partners after identifying the Biosciences business as a commercially sound investment opportunity. The Biosciences management team at Ascendis is excited to partner with these two experienced investors.”

“Importantly, the staff will move on with these businesses which will ensure minimal disruption to the businesses and their customers,” he said.

Thomsen said the cash proceeds from the sale will strengthen the group’s financial position in the short-term and be used to reduce debt levels and fund working capital.

Efekto manufactures and sells home and garden pesticides, fertiliser and plant food products. Afrikelp specialises in natural growth stimulants extracted from seaweed to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural crops. Marltons, established over 80 years ago, manufactures and distributes pet care and pet products.

The remaining businesses in the Ascendis Biosciences division, namely Avima and Klub M5, may be considered for divestment in the short- to medium-term.

The effective date of the transaction is 31 March 2019 and is subject to regulatory and administrative conditions, including approval by the competition authorities.

Ascendis Health previously announced the sale of its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Gauteng for R130 million in December 2018. This followed the sale of its South African sports nutrition business for R54 million in September 2018.

In January the group received an unsolicited offer for the sale of its Cyprus-based generic pharmaceutical business Remedica. Negotiations on the potential disposal of Remedica are continuing and the sale process has been extended to include other potential bidders.


Issued by Tier 1 Investor Relations on behalf of Ascendis Health

For further information kindly contact
Graeme Lillie, Tier 1 Investor Relations 082 468 1507