Aspen said deal would give it access to Chinas infant formula sector

Aspen said deal would give it access to China's infant formula sector

South African pharma group Aspen Holdings has snapped up 50% of New Zealand infant formula producer New Zealand New Milk.

Aspen, which did not disclose the value of the deal, said NZNM had approval to export infant milk formula to China.

"NZNM is one of a limited number of companies which holds the required endorsements from the Chinese regulatory authorities to produce infant milk formula for this key territory," Aspen said. "The investment in NZNM represents another step towards Aspen's aspirations to enter the Chinese infant milk formula sector, valued at approximately US$15bn."

Aspen will also distribute formula made by NZNM in Australia.

Aspen, which supplies branded and generic pharmaceutical products in over 150 countries, is looking to build its infant formula businesses.

In the last year, the company has concluded two infant formula deals with Nestle after the Swiss food group's purchase of Pfizer's infant nutrition business. In January, Aspen completed the acquisition of certain rights to assets and intellectual property licenses of in a number of southern African territories.

The deal followed the acquisition of Nestle's infant milk factory in Mexico and licences for some of its brands in Latin America. The agreement included the exclusive rights to Nestle's S26 Gold and SMA trademarks for ten years in South and Central America.