Private equity firm The Abraaj Group and PROPARCO, the French development finance institution announced the sale of 83% of their combined stakes in Tunisia’s second-largest pharmaceutical company, Unité de fabrication de médicaments (or Unimed) to a consortium of buyers that includes Washington-based SQM, Blakeney Asset Management, the Tunisian-Kuwaiti Consortium of Development (CTKD), and two local investors. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Abraaj first invested in Unimed in 2011, since when the company has grown its year-on-year revenues, expanding the number of its marketing authorizations and adopting an exporting strategy which saw 41.5% of its 2014 revenues being derived from 17 counties in North and West Africa as well as the Middle East and Europe.
“Our investment in Unimed over the past four years has helped cement the company’s position as a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in North Africa,” commented Abraaj’s Head for the MENA region. “The healthcare market, a critical sector in North Africa, is still underserved and growing rapidly, driven by a rising middle class with an increasing propensity to invest in quality healthcare. We believe Unimed is now well positioned to capitalize on the substantial growth opportunities that it will have as a listed company on the Tunis stock exchange and as it expands across the African continent and the wider Middle East region.”
Abraaj’s financial and operational support has allowed Unimed to upgrade its production facilities, improve corporate governance and financial reporting mechanisms as well as train and develop the firm’s employees.
“With a focus on increasing manufacturing capacity and acquiring the latest production technologies, enhancing R&D capabilities and expanding their export footprint, Unimed has achieved strong, sustainable growth and is now recognized regionally as a leader in injectables,” said Adel Goucha, a Managing Director at Abraaj. “Alongside our new and existing partners, we look forward to supporting Unimed’s continued success as it seeks to pursue further expansion opportunities.”