Abbott agrees to acquire Latin America’s CFR Pharmaceuticals for $2.9bn

American pharmaceuticals & health care products firm Abbott Laboratories on Friday confirmed that it would acquire Chile-based CFR Pharmaceuticals SA in a $2.9 billion (£1.72 billion) deal.

Abbott will acquire nearly 73 per cent of CFR's publicly traded shares from founder Weinstein family-led holding company, while a tender offer will be issued for buying the remaining shares.

The acquisition in expected to more than double Abbott's branded generic drugs trade in the fast-growing market of Latin America. Abbott is making efforts to grow its branded generics business in 14-15 fast-growing markets of emerging economies.

During a conference call with shareholders, Abbott CEO Miles White also announced that the company was also looking at other transactions. However, he added that all geographies were not alike and some were not in the company's focus.

The CFR however surprised Latin American analysts, who were not aware of the acquisition talks. A few months back, the company's $1.2 billion bid for South Africa-based Adcock Ingram had failed.

Claudia Cavada, a senior analyst with Santiago-based Banchile Inversiones, said, "This is very surprising. It's a very good price compared to yesterday's closing price."

The acquisition of CFR is Abbott's first deal since it split into two businesses, spinning off its best-seller rheumatoid arthritis drug into a new firm called AbbVie Inc in 2013.

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