Novartis agrees to sell its flu vaccine business to CSL of Australia for $275 million

Australian drugmaker CSL Ltd. said Monday it will buy Novartis' flu vaccine business for $275 million.

CSL Ltd. said the deal will make it the second-largest flu vaccine maker in the world. The company said the Novartis business had $527 million in revenue in 2013 and said its combined revenue could reach $1 billion a year in three to five years.

Novartis flu vaccines include Flucelvax, Fluvirin and Fluad. The Switzerland-based company, which expects to ship about 60 million doses worldwide of its seasonal influenza vaccines for the 2014-2015 season, reported $57.92 billion in total revenue in 2013.

Shares of Novartis AG picked up 24 cents to $90.39 in midday trading.