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Actis acquires AfricInvest’s Medis stake

In its latest private equity transaction in Africa, emerging markets investment firm Actis has agreed to acquire what’s described as a “meaningful stake” in Medis, a generic pharmaceuticals business operating in Tunisia and Algeria. The stake is being acquired from fellow Africa-focused private equity firm AfricInvest, who have participated in a number of investment rounds via various funds in the business since it was launched by Lassaad Boujbel in 1996. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction, which is being done through the $780 million Actis Africa Fund 4, was led by Hichem Omezzine, a Director with a focus on the Healthcare and Consumer sector opportunities. Arjun Oberoi, who heads of Actis’s Healthcare investment initiatives, was also involved in the transaction. The private equity firm plans to establish Medis as a significant pan-African and Middle Eastern pharmaceuticals platform by injecting additional capital to finance its planned build-and-buy strategy.

Medis was the first company to launch sterile products in North Africa and has built one of the first oncology labs on the continent. The company has plans to provide complex biosimilar medicines that treat diseases such as infertility and multiple sclerosis as well as become one of the region’s few affordable cancer drug producers in the region. With a promising exports business across Francophone Africa and the Middle East, the company is well-positioned to benefit from the continent’s demographic and lifestyle trends which is expected to push growth in the branded generic drug sector by double digit multiples over the next decade.

Bourabiat Associés, Clifford Chance, Juris Med, McKinsey and PWC provided Actis with legal and transaction advisory-related services for the deal. Rafik Mzah, AfricaInvest’s Chief Legal Officer, acted on behalf of the Tunisian-headquartered private equity firm.

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