French private equity firm LBO France is taking a majority stake in PIEX, an Africa-focused distributor of pharmaceutical and parapharmaceutical products. Terms of the buy-out deal, which is being executed in partnership with PIEX’s new CEO, Bertrand Talbotier, his management team as well as funds AfricInvest Europe, BNP Paribas Développement, BPI and Trocadéro Capital Partners, were not disclosed.
With revenues of €80 million reported in 2016, PIEX acts as distributor for more than 750 pharmaceutical products, selling to about 350 clients in over 30 countries. Three countries, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Cameroon, generate some 46% of the firm’s turnover, reflecting PIEX’s leading market position in Francophone West Africa. Founded in 1979 by Robert Jamain, the firm is a key partner for pharmaceutical groups looking to enter the markets in which PIEX operates, enabling them to tap into the networks of local market wholesalers the company has built up over the years.
Now with a new CEO and management team, the firm’s priorities are to push growth further, winning more clients and market share. It’s expected the firm will focus on broadening its client base of pharmaceutical and biotech companies, broaden its offering of high valued-added services and target new, high-growth geographical markets for expansion.
“This primary LBO perfectly illustrates our strategy of accompanying family-owned companies in their new development phase and led by a new management team,” said Jean-Marie Leroy, the Partner who led the deal for LBO France. “This acquisition is a meaningful choice made by LBO France in its investment options and the very nature of PIEX, a company operating in the heath sector and mainly towards the African market, demonstrates our commitment to the ESG principles guiding our investment approach.”
Leroy was assisted by colleagues Emmanuel Fiorentino and Karine Callec on the deal. Jeantet acted as legal advisor for the transaction while Grant Thornton provided LBO France with financial advisory services.