Aspen will have the exclusive right of use of the Nestle S26 and SMA infant nutrition product trademarks for a period of ten years

Aspen will have the exclusive right of use of the Nestle S26 and SMA infant nutrition product trademarks for a period of ten years

Aspen Pharmacare is to acquire the Pfizer infant nutrition businesses in Australia and southern Africa after a deal with Nestle worth US$215m.

The agreement comes after regulators in Australia and South Africa said Nestle's global takeover of Pfizer's Wyeth business last year would hit competition in the countries.

South African pharmaceutical group Aspen will obtain certain rights to intellectual property licenses and assets in Australia and six African markets - South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia

The deal means Aspen will have the exclusive right of use of the Nestle - formerly Pfizer - S26 and SMA infant nutrition product trademarks for a period of ten years in Australia and Southern Africa. It will also have the right to co-brand the licensed products over this period and to transition them to Aspen branded products.

For a further ten years, Nestlé will be precluded from commercialising the licensed products, effectively providing Aspen with a 20-year period to establish equivalent Aspen-branded infant nutrition products.
The deal also sees Nestle and Pfizer manufacture and supply products to Aspen for three years. In that period, production will transfer to Aspen sites or suppliers.

"These transactions support Aspen's stated ambitions to extend our infant nutritional business. We understand the potential of these products as we are familiar with the brands having marketed these in South Africa under license in the recent past," Aspen chief executive Stephen Saad said.

Australian competition authorities have approved the acquisition, which will be effective there from 28 April. South African and Namibian approval is pending, Aspen said.

Nestle is divesting assets following its $11.9bn acquisition of Pfizer's infant nutrition business, in order to comply with anti-trust regulators in certain markets.