Top contenders: 2008

February 25, 2009

Aquarius and Impala:

Aquarius bought back 20 percent of its shares held by Impala for $780 million (R7.9 billion) when the world economy was operating at near-full capacity. Since then, however, the financial crisis has struck many industries. As 30 percent of all platinum produced is used by the automotive industry in catalytic converters, this has hit the mining firms. The benefits of this deal are unlikely to be seen for some years.

Aspen Pharmacare and GlaxoSmithKline:

Aspen, South Africa's largest maker and distributor of generic medicines, paid R2.7 billion to buy four branded products from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a leading global drug firm. As part of the deal, GSK agreed to allow Aspen to piggyback on its marketing and distribution operations in areas Aspen might otherwise find difficult to penetrate.

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