A new group

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Arrow and Apotex have now merged to form Arrotex – claiming a 50% share in the Australian generic pharmacy market

Arrow Pharmaceuticals and Apotex Australia have completed the merger announced 14 months ago and will now operate under the newly formed Arrotex Australia Group, the group announced in a release on Wednesday.

Arrotex is now Australia’s largest generic pharmaceutical and private label OTC business with around 50% market share of the Australian generic pharmacy market.

The group will be jointly owned and controlled by Mr Dennis Bastas and Apotex Inc (Canada) as equity partners, and it will be headed by Mr Bastas as Chairman and CEO.

Strides Pharma Science agreed to sell down its interest in Arrow Pharmaceuticals to Mr Bastas, contingent on completion of the merger.

“The proposed merger of Arrow and Apotex will give Australian pharmacies an even greater level of service and support from the businesses that they have chosen to partner with for the past 15 years,” said Mr Bastas.

“Both companies respect and value the relationship that pharmacists and consumers have with the Arrow and Apotex products and brands.

“Our customers can rest assured that there will be no change in the way that they do business with us and that the merged business will continue to provide all the Arrow and Apotex brands that people have come to trust, including the Chemist’s Own and Apo-Health OTC ranges.”

Mr Bastas added: “Arrotex products will account for almost 30% of all prescription volume dispensed in pharmacies across Australia.

“That is a significant responsibility that we now have to our customers and the Australian public to continue to provide sustainable, high-quality and cost-effective access to the pharmaceuticals they rely on every day.”

The ACCC said it would not oppose the merger in September last year, after conducting market inquiries and analysis of documents and data.

“Any deal that combines two of the four largest competitors in a market will require close scrutiny,” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

“However, we found that a combined Arrow-Apotex would continue to face strong competition from Mylan and Sandoz, and to a lesser extent from short range suppliers like Generic Health and Pharmacor. These suppliers are backed by strong international parent companies.

“The ability for pharmacies to pick and choose suppliers for individual generic pharmaceutical products also acts as a competitive constraint.

“A number of smaller generic players are active in the market in supplying pharmacies, and there is the potential for further competition via these smaller players building up a larger portfolio of generic products,” Mr Sims said.

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