Octapharma Acquires Biovitrum's Plasma Products Division

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, July 1, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Biovitrum and Octapharma today announced that an agreement has been signed under which Octapharma will acquire Biovitrum's Plasma Products Division.

The Plasma Products Division has been in business for more than 50 years, originally under the name of Kabi. In 1989 Kabi merged with Pharmacia. When Biovitrum was spun out of Pharmacia in August 2001, Plasma Products was included in the new company.

Octapharma will acquire Plasma Products, including operations, staff, products and production facility as well as brand and marketing rights, from July 15, 2002.

Biovitrum will retain its existing agreement with Wyeth for the manufacture of recombinant Factor VIII ReFacto, which provides Biovitrum with substantial revenues. Selected services related to ReFacto will be subcontracted to Octapharma.

Biovitrum's CEO Mats Pettersson commented: This is truly a win win deal. One of the most important strategic issues for Biovitrum has been to strengthen the future opportunities for our Plasma Products Division. With Octapharma as the new owner we've done just that. Similarly, the deal means that Biovitrum will be able to focus wholly on its core R&D, where we have already started to deliver positive results.

Commenting on the deal Wolfgang Marguerre, Chairman and owner of Octapharma, said: Plasma Products is a top quality plasma operation, with a very impressive heritage. The acquisition of the Plasma Products Division allows Octapharma to broaden its production base and market reach. We intend to make our new Swedish organization the central hub of all Scandinavian activities, and will also be servicing certain export markets from here.

The Plasma Products Division currently employs 450 staff and has a turnover of approximately 800 MSEK, including service agreements related to ReFacto. Hans Orstrom, the division's current head, will lead the Swedish operations as part of Octapharma and be a member of the Octapharma management board.

To download photos and logos: visit the pressroom at www.biovitrum.com


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