Aspen spikes 12% as investors get a jolt of the good stuff

Business

Aspen spikes 12% as investors get a jolt of the good stuff

Relief at news that pharma company has slashed its debt and plans to cut more in the year ahead

Tamar Kahn

Shares in Africa’s biggest pharmaceutical manufacturer, Aspen Pharmacare, closed 10.97% higher on Thursday (https://www.sharenet.co.za/v3/quickshare.php?scode=APN), its biggest one-day gain in more than 19 years, as investors sighed in relief at news that it had slashed its debt and planned to cut more in the year ahead.

Aspen’s share closed at R94.25, far off its R448.68 peak in January 2015. It has dropped by more than a third in 2019 after a series of setbacks deepened concern about its high debt levels, which stood at R53.5bn in December.

The company was battered by a delay in the sale of its infant milk business to French dairy company Lactalis and an £8m (R146m) fine it agreed to pay the UK’s National Health Service after admitting to anti-competitive behaviour. ..

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