Abraaj plans key Morocco pharma investment
Dubai, September 10, 2013
Dubai-based Abraaj Group, a leading private equity investor operating in the key growth markets, has announced a major investment in Moroccan pharmaceuticals company Steripharma.
Headquartered in Casablanca, Steripharma began its operations in 2002 with the manufacture of pharmaceuticals that are GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliant.
The company has a broad portfolio of products, both in solid and liquid form, and handles services including manufacturing, marketing, and subcontracting. Steripharma provides a consolidated distribution service through private sector wholesalers and the regulated pharmaceutical distribution network in Morocco.
It also distributes to the Moroccan public health sector through the Ministry of Health, and to nearby export markets.
The Abraaj Group’s new investment and strategic support, through one of its Funds, will enable the expansion of Steripharma’s footprint in the industry and help further develop the company’s exports, primarily to the private sector of North and Sub-Saharan Africa, said a senior official.
It will also allow Steripharma to engage in its second phase of its growth plan, with the development of a new GMP plant in order to increase its production capacity.
"Pharma is amongst the best performing sectors in Africa; the industry has been growing at a steady rate over the past few years and this momentum is expected to continue in tandem with overall economic growth being witnessed in Africa," remarked Ahmed Badreldin, the partner and head of Mena at The Abraaj Group.
"In Morocco, where local consumption is still low compared to other markets in North Africa, there is strong demand vs. low penetration of generics, which creates the opportunity to develop high-quality, GMP-level products at an affordable price."
"The development of reimbursement schemes for medical expenses will also help sustain industry growth in the country and region-wide," he added.
In his comments, Mohamed Amal El Bouri, the founder and executive chairman of Steripharma said, “Abraaj has demonstrated a deep understanding of our business, the pharmaceutical sector, and the larger African healthcare industry.”
"Abraaj’s relevant healthcare and pharma experience, business development expertise and extensive local and global industry relationships will provide Steripharma with both the resources and funds to achieve our long-term growth plans," he stated.
Isabelle Portebois-Benjelloun, the director at The Abraaj Group, said it was pleased to support Steripharma’s expansion and confident that its increasing presence in the African pharmaceutical sector will have a significant impact on the local supply chain, with socio-economic benefits related to community healthcare, employment and business development.
Shakir Merali, the managing director at The Abraaj Group said, "A consistent theme throughout Africa is the unavailability of quality healthcare goods and services at accessible price points. This deficit presents an opportunity to invest in solid companies to build scale, increase affordability and achieve world class quality."
"By doing so, a wide community of consumers touched by these products or services benefit, while robust commercial returns ensure that these businesses remain sustainable and attractive as investment opportunities in the long-term. This type of dual return is what we aim to achieve with our investing strategy for the healthcare sector on the continent," he added.
The Abraaj Group has already got extensive experience in the healthcare sector. Its key investments in this sector include Uganda’s Vine Pharmaceuticals, Philippines’ HBC, and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawi Group.
Additionally, the group has current investments in nine hospitals, as well as in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical devices manufacturing.-TradeArabia News Service