South African pharmaceutical major Aspen has acquired the pharmaceutical arm of Australia-based Sigma Pharmaceuticals, concluding drawn out negotiations.

The deal, worth R6.1bn ($885m), was approved following an extraordinary meeting of Sigma shareholders, with an effective date for a change of ownership set for 31 January.

Sigma will retain its wholesale business and is one of three major wholesaler distributors within Australia, with Aspen concluding a long term distribution agreement with the company.

The acquisition is expected to create several opportunities for Aspen, with a possible extension of Aspen’s branded products business in Australia following the addition of Sigma branded, generic and over-the-counter portfolios.

The deal will also provide Aspen with a point of entry into the Australian generic section.