ASPEN: 6,935 +108 (+1.58%)
Aspen shares plunged by nearly 40 pct on debt worries
JOHANNESBURG, March 8 (Reuters) - Shares of South
Africa-based drugmaker Aspen Pharmacare plunged nearly
40 percent on Friday, as rising debt worried investors.
Aspen said after the market closed on Thursday that it will
split its South African Commercial Pharmaceuticals business into
two divisions as it disposes of non-core assets to reduce its
It said its borrowings, net of cash, had increased by 6.7
billion rand ($461 million) in the six months to Dec. 31, 2018
to 53.5 billion rand as a result of weakness in the rand
currency relative to foreign currency denominated loans,
payments relating to acquisitions and capital expenditure.
At 0905 GMT, shares in Aspen were down 39.07.
Shares in Aspen, which operates in 56 countries, have now
plunged more than 65 percent since it announced a
lower-than-expected sale price of its infant milk business in
September. The lower price raised questions on whether the
company was pressured to sell because it was close to breaching
its debt obligations.
($1 = 14.5421 rand)
(Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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