Ascendis Health mulls more asset sales

The company wants to reduce its crippling debt load.

South Africa-based Ascendis Health said it is considering selling the two remaining businesses in its biosciences division after it offloaded three companies in that unit.

The sale of Afrikelp, Efekto and Marltons, announced in May, is now complete after receiving approval from competition authorities, Ascendis said on Wednesday. The businesses were sold for R480 million to a consortium comprising RMB Ventures Seven, Nedbank Private Equity and some managers at Ascendis’s biosciences division.

"The two remaining businesses in the Ascendis Health biosciences division, being Avima and Klub M5, are now being considered for divestment," Ascendis said.

Ascendis has also been in talks regarding a possible sale of its Remedica business in Cyprus, for which it received an unsolicited offer. That deal is seen as key to reducing Ascendis’s debt.

Ascendis has been selling assets as part of a strategic review, which is aimed at improving performance through focusing on organic growth, improved cash generation and enhanced profitability. Proceeds from the possible sale of the two remaining businesses in its biosciences division will likely be used to reduce Ascendis’ debt levels and fund its working capital.