Abbott to buy CFR in $2.9 billion deal

Abbott Laboratories announced to buy Chile's CFR Pharmaceuticals in a $2.9 billion deal which will boost its branded generic drugs business more than two times in the fast-growing Latin American market.

This is the first deal since last year when Abbott was divided into 2 companies and comes when health mergers have increased.

Abbott intends to concentrate on the branded generics business in fast-growing countries in emerging markets.

Deutsche Bank Securities advised CFR Pharmaceuticals and Barclays advised Abbott on the transaction.

Although the Latin American pharmaceuticals market has been appealing to big drug producers, there are some other big opportunities similar to CFR since most businesses are small, family-owned companies.

Abbott will purchase roughly 73% of freely traded CFR at the rate of 34.65 cents per share from a holding business managed by the Weinstein family, which established the company in the 1920s. For the remaining shares, it will conduct a tender offer.


CFR Pharmaceuticals has research and development as well as manufacturing facilities and 7,000 employees and sells roughly 1,000 products in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Colombia.

Abbott has 69,000 employees and sells branded generics and healthcare devices in 150 countries.


The move surprised Latin American analysts, who were not aware that the company was contemplating a sale. A few months earlier its bid for South Africa's Adcock Ingram for $1.2 billion failed.