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Aspen poised to meet deadline for sale of its baby milk unit

The self-imposed deadline is set for the end of May, after being approved by a New Zealand regulator.

Aspen Pharmacare is set to meet a self-imposed deadline to close the sale of its infant-formula business by the end of this month after the deal was approved by a New Zealand regulator, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Overseas Investment Office agreed in principle to allow French dairy company Lactalis International to buy the unit from Aspen, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t yet public. The OIP has completed its checks on Lactalis, its directors and the transaction, and the last of the deal and legal documents are being signed, the person said.

The company, which is weighing the sale of some European units once the deal is completed, said in March that it expects to complete the sale by May 31.

The OIP does not yet have an update on the final decision, it said in an emailed response to questions. Spokesmen at Lactalis and Aspen declined to comment.

Lactalis, owned by the three billionaire Besnier brothers, agreed to pay 740 million euros ($830 million), or about 40 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation for the baby milk business.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P

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