MOROCCO. The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in growth markets, today announced an investment in Moroccan company Steripharma, a manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical products.
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. 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.
Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Head of MENA at The Abraaj Group, commented on the transaction: “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.
"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.”
“Abraaj has demonstrated a deep understanding of our business, the pharmaceutical sector, and the larger African healthcare industry”, said Mohamed Amal El Bouri, Founder and Executive Chairman of Steripharma. “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. We are also pleased to welcome Abraaj to our board, and look forward to working closely together as we enlarge our portfolio of products and expand capacity to hopefully open up exciting opportunities.”
Isabelle Portebois-Benjelloun, Director at The Abraaj Group, said: “The Abraaj Group is 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.”
"A consistent theme throughout Africa is the unavailability of quality healthcare goods and services at accessible price points," commented Shakir Merali, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group. "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."
Steripharma is highly regarded in its field, abiding to high quality manufacturing standards and local production. The Abraaj Group, a pioneer in sustainable investment and the close integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment principles, will significantly help Steripharma strengthen its own governance and ESG approach.
The Abraaj Group is one of the leading private equity investors in growth markets around the world, with extensive experience in the healthcare sector. Its investments 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.
About THE ABRAAJ GROUP
The Abraaj Group is a leading private equity investor operating in the growth markets of Africa, Latin America, Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, Turkey and Central Asia.
Employing over 300 people, the Group has 30+ country offices spread across six regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore. Local presence across these markets provides the Group with unmatched expertise, know-how, proprietary transactional access and the ability to grow partner businesses across borders.
The Abraaj Group currently manages US$ 7.5 billion across 20+ sector and country-specific Funds, encompassing private equity (majority and significant minority investments with ticket sizes of between US$ 10 million to US$ 100 million) and real estate (primarily yield-generating) investments.
Funds managed by the Group have holdings in over 140 partner companies that collectively employ over 200,000 people and create sustainable value in sectors including manufacturing, education, retail, aviation, oil and gas, financial payments infrastructure, healthcare and agribusiness. The Group’s current partner companies include industry leaders such as Network International, the largest independent payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, NEP Holding, with its Diamond brand and a market leader in the residential filtration market of Malaysia (with a growing presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southern China), Brookside Dairy, the leading dairy in East Africa, and Iasacorp, a long established family run women’s retail business in Peru.
The Group has set the standard for private equity investing in growth markets, having returned c. US$ 4.2 billion to investors from over 70 full and partial exits, providing industry leading returns across a range of companies that have emerged as today’s regional champions and tomorrow’s global challengers.
The Abraaj Group has an investor base of 300, including corporates, development finance institutions, financial institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, family offices, high net worth individuals and other institutional investors from Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
The Abraaj Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards. The Group is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact. The Group’s founder, Arif Naqvi, was appointed to the United Nations Global Compact Board by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012. In 2013, Mr. Naqvi was awarded the Oslo Business for Peace Award, one of the highest forms of recognition given to global business leaders for fostering peace and stability through creating shared values between business and society.
Through its social investing program, The Abraaj Group has supported best in class organizations focused on entrepreneurship and job creation, healthcare, education and community engagement and thereby enabled a deep-rooted and sustainable impact on the economic landscape of the markets in which it operates.