Novartis has agreed a deal to purchase US-based dermatology specialist Fougera Pharmaceuticals, becoming the latest major pharmaceutical firm to join the acquisition trail.
Switzerland-based Novartis will pay approximately $1.53bn for the firm, which focuses primarily on generic dermatology drugs, making the company's Sandoz unit the number one generic dermatology medicine company in the world.
Fougera brings to Novartis a portfolio of 45 products and its branded business, PharmaDerm, which currently markets 17 treatments. The company recorded sales of $429m in 2011, but has a number of new product launches planned for 2012.
Sandoz global head Jeff George said: "The addition of Fougera's leading portfolio further strengthens Sandoz's differentiated products strategy and improves our ability to help patients and customers around the world by providing easier access to high quality, affordable dermatological medicines."
"Fougera brings us valuable technical capabilities in the area of topical dermatological products, particularly in the development and manufacturing of semi-solid forms such as creams and ointments," added George.
Based on Fougera's 2011 EBITDA results of $173m, the acquisition represents a multiple of 8.8 times, but is expected to be accretive to core earnings per share.
The transaction will be financed from Novartis's existing cash resources and cash flow and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2012, should it receive regulatory approval.