Actis, a leading growth markets investor, today announced that its portfolio company MédiS, a major pharmaceutical company based in Tunisia, has acquired Winthrop Pharma Senegal (WPS) from Sanofi.
Actis invested in MédiS at the end of August 2016 with the vision to work alongside the founder Dr Lassaad Boujbel and Management to build a leading pan- African and Middle East player. Through this acquisition, MédiS aims to actively develop the business in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa from a Senegalese base.
WPS is a significant operator in the pharmaceuticals sector in French-speaking sub-Saharan Africa (FSSA). MédiS' acquisition includes a 34,000m² manufacturing facility in the Rufisque district of Dakar, Senegal. The plant is one of the most important production platforms in Western Africa and benefits from Senegalese and various West & Central African Ministry of Health approvals, including authorisation to handle controlled substances. The plant exports a substantial part of its output.
MédiS has more than 720 marketing authorizations worldwide, 480 of which are in Africa, and is constantly expanding its international presence with a subsidiary in Algeria and the creation of MédiS International in the Czech Republic, making it the first Tunisian multinational in the pharmaceutical field.
This acquisition increases the number of MédiS production sites, which currently include: MédiS laboratories in Tunisia, NEAPOLIS PHARMA laboratories in Tunisia, Inpha-MédiS laboratories in Algeria and MédiS International laboratories in the Czech Republic.
MédiS is currently present in 16 countries in FSSA including Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroun. The FSSA pharmaceutical market is estimated at more US$2.5bn and forecasted to grow at close to double digit rates over the next five years, driven by emergence of a middle class, improved healthcare infrastructure, external donator support for healthcare system and rise of insurance. The region's branded generics penetration is among the lowest in the world but is projected to grow rapidly over the same period.
Dr Lassaad Boujbel, founder of MédiS, said: "When MédiS first partnered with Actis last year, I was particularly pleased by how aligned they were with us in our intention to grow MédiS into a leading regional platform. This is a significant strategic step towards that goal."
Commenting on the acquisition, Hichem Omezzine, Director at Actis, said: "This acquisition is extremely exciting. Not only will MédiS benefit from a world class facility with significant production capacities and space available for further expansion, but the business is also gaining an extremely strong platform from which to access the Sub-Saharan African market."