Abbott Laboratories (ABT) announced Friday an acquisition of Latin American company CFR Pharmaceuticals in a deal valued at about $2.9 billion, excluding debt.

The move more than doubles Abbot’s presence in the Latin American markets, helping to establish it among the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the region.

"With its scale and leadership positions in the region, strong commercial and
development organizations, well-respected leadership team and a trusted portfolio of
recognized brands, CFR is one of the leading branded generic companies in Latin
America," Miles White, chairman and chief executive officer at Abbott said in a press release. "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."

CFR, which is headquartered in Santiago, Chile, holds a product portfolio comprised of women’s health, central nervous system, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The company also markets more than 1,000 products, and owns research and development facilities in Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina.

"We are pleased to join with Abbott to enhance CFR's leadership across Latin America,"
said Alejandro Weinstein, chief executive officer at CFR.

"CFR and its employees will become part of an organization much like itself, a well-respected company with a long heritage and commitment to delivering quality health care products that
improve people's lives."

Shares of Abbott traded flat following the announcement in pre-market trade.

Follow Victoria Craig on Twitter @VictoriaCraig.