Abbott Laboratories said today it will acquire CFR Pharmaceuticals, a Latin American developer of branded generic drugs, for up to about $2.9 billion, plus assumption of about $430 million in debt. 

The potentially up-to-$3.3 billion deal more than doubles Abbott’s presence in branded generics, an area where Abbott remained after spinning off its branded pharmaceuticals into AbbVie.

The deal also grows Abbott’s presence in emerging markets, especially Latin America, where the diagnostics-and-devices giant becomes one of the continent’s top 10 generic pharma companies.

“This acquisition will significantly enhance and broaden Abbott's Latin American footprint, and is well aligned with our long-term strategy and commitment to fast-growing markets,” Miles D. White, Abbott’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

According to its website, CFR has five core divisions—Drugtech (neurology, psychiatry, and cardiology); Gynopharm (women’s health); Recalcine (general medicine); Complex Injectables (sterile injectable products and lyophilized forms for anesthesia, infections, cardiology, and intensive care treatment); and Biomedical Sciences (monoclonal antibodies and dialysis treatment, transplants, oncology, and rheumatology).

White noted that CFR’s therapeutic areas were “well-aligned” with those of Abbott, which focus on women's health, central nervous system, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Headquartered in Santiago, Chile, CFR employs about 7,000 people and operates research and manufacturing facilities in Chileas as well as Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. The company sells its branded generics in 15 Latin American markets.

Abbott said it will launch a tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of CFR—72.62% of all issued and outstanding shares, according to CFR—upon winning regulatory approvals. CFR said in a separate statement that Abbott agreed to launch the tender offer before November 3, subject to approvals and other conditions.

If all such shares are tendered Abbott will have to shell out $2.9 billion for the Chilean generic pharma.

Abbott said it expects the CFR acquisition to add about $900 million to its annual sales in 2015, the first full year after completion of the deal, which is expected by the end of the third quarter. That year, Abbott also expects its earnings per share to grow, while sales are projected to grow by double digits over the following several years after as a result of acquiring CFR

Abbott said it will fund the CFR acquisition with cash on its balance sheet.

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