Last week, private equity fund manager PCM Capital Partners announced details of an investment it made through its West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund (WAEMGF) in late December last year in Ubipharm, a €572 million distributor of pharmaceutical products in Francophone Africa. The deal establishes Ubipharm Development (UD), a new subsidiary company for Ubipharm which will have an initial presence in Guinea and Madagascar. WAEMGF is investing €4.1 million for a 49% stake in UD, with Ubipharm holding the balance of the new company.
Ubipharm’s shareholder base is made up of more than 1,200 pharmacists, a network of 3,500 registered clients and 400 suppliers, and covers almost all of the pharmaceutical requirements for Africa’s francophone markets. The capital will be used to help Ubipharm grow its distribution capacity and expand its network.
Commenting on the investment, Wilfrid Korsaga, who worked on the deal for PCM Capital Partners was quoted as saying “The Ubipharm network and business model is unique to Africa. At a time when the pharmaceutical market in Africa can be defined by its peculiarities, this partnership aims at improving access to high quality pharmaceutical products.”
The West Africa Emerging Markets Growth Fund is a €38.5 million regional private equity fund which looks for investment opportunities in sectors such as energy, finance, telecoms, multimedia, ICT, agro business and distribution. Managed by PCM Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Phoenix Capital Management, the fund is backed by a number of significant investors including South Africa’s Public Investment Corporation, the African Development Bank, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development and several regional financial services institutions.