ANSELL'S SHARE PRICE SWELLS AFTER SALE OF CONDOM BUSINESS

ANSELL'S SHARE PRICE SWELLS AFTER SALE OF CONDOM BUSINESS
IT'S one of Australia's most successful and enduring manufacturing success stories and the Ansell condom business has been sold to Chinese interests for $800 million.

The sale of the Sexual Wellness business includes all of Ansell's condom, lubricant and devices business and manufacturing sites.

The buyers are a consortium of Chinese companies Humanwell Healthcare Group and CITIC Capital China Partners.

The sale closes a chapter on Australia's manufacturing history dating back to the Great Depression when entrepreneur Norman Ansell struck out on his own in 1929 from the Dunlop Company of Australasia.

Norman Ansell started making condoms and moved into gas masks, weather balloons and latex gloves.

Ansell (ASX: ANN) will retain 50 per cent shareholding however over the company's joint venture in India, called J K Ansell, and the Melbourne-based company will also retain ownership of its polyisoprene intellectual property and provide a fully paid-up license to the consortium.

The sale of the business was suggested by CEO Magnus Nicolin in August 2016 and he believes the sale is in the best interests of shareholders.

"We are delighted with this outcome, following a thorough and competitive process, which realises significant value for Ansell shareholders," says Nicolin.

"We see Humanwell as a natural home for the business and wish them well with their purchase."

When deciding to sell the Sexual Wellness division, Nicolin emphasised that the division was the only part of the company where they were not the market leader.

"It is the smallest business in our consumer division, it is the only business where we are not number one in the world, it is a business with a dramatically different global market," says Nicolin.

"It's a business that we've seen for a number of years of being a very different profile."

As well as announcing the sale of the Sexual Wellness division, Ansell has announced a new on market buy-back program where Ansell will buy back up to 10 per cent of issued capital over the next 12 months.

Based on the Company's current share price this would imply a buy-back of approximately $353 million.

Ansell shares are up by 4.5 per cent to $25.24 at 2.30pm AEST.

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