Canada-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International has signed an $800m agreement to purchase Mercury (Cayman) Holdings, the holding firm of Amoun Pharmaceutical.

The deal will also include contingent payments, said Valeant.

The acquisition will allow Valeant to expand its operations in the pharmaceutical market of the Middle East and North Africa.

Established in 1998, Amoun Pharmaceutical is an Egypt-based joint-stock firm that is involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and export of a wide range of human pharmaceutical and animal health products.

"The deal is expected to complete in the third quarter of this year."

The company manufactures products in therapeutic areas, including anti-hypertensives, broad spectrum antibiotics and anti-diarrheals.

Currently, the firm has around 30 new products at various stages of registration, which are being designed to treat many diseases such as those with high prevalence.

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Amoun operates a manufacturing plant, which is claimed to be one of the largest and modern pharmaceutical facilities in Africa and the Middle East.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is expected to complete in the third quarter of this year.

In April this year, Valeant completed the acquisition of US-based Salix Pharmaceuticals for around $11bn.

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, US, Salix develops and markets prescription pharmaceutical products and medical devices to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

Valeant develops and markets a wide range of pharmaceutical products in the areas of dermatology, eye health, neurology and branded generics.