A subsidiary of Switzerland's Novartis is to paying SFr174 million ($102 million) for German group BASF's European generic drug business.
Novartis Generics announced on Monday that the acquisition includes companies in six European countries and, subject to regulatory approvals, will be effective from January 2001.
Oswald Sellemond, Head of Novartis Generics, said: "This acquisition will give us rapid entry into new markets in addition to enhancing our presence in areas that are attractive for the future. We are taking a significant step towards our goal of being present in every major generics market."
The six BASF Pharma generics companies are based in Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain. Overall, they employ 224 people and generate total annual sales of SFr91 million.
For BASF, the sale is consistent with its strategy - announced at the beginning of the year - of focusing on prescription drugs.
swissinfo with agencies