IFC invests $30 million in Ascendis Health to improve access to pharmaceuticals

25 May 2016, 12:00 am
Financial Nigeria


IFC’s investments are aimed at promoting greater access to high-quality healthcare in developmeing countries.

Philippe Le Houérou, Executive Vice President and CEO, International Finance Corporation

The International Finance Corporation has invested $30 million in Ascendis Health, a Johannesburg-based pharmaceutical company, to promote access to affordable generic pharmaceuticals and medical products in developing countries.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, IFC said its financing will support the company’s plans to acquire Remedica, a Cyprus-based generic pharmaceutical company that supplies mostly to emerging markets, and Scitec International, a leading European sports-nutrition company.

“Demand for better health goods and services is growing rapidly amid rising incomes and aging populations in developing countries, and IFC is committed to bringing affordable high quality healthcare into Africa and other emerging markets,” said Mary-Jean Moyo, IFC’s Head of Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services in sub-Saharan Africa.

Remedica supplies over 300 generic pharmaceutical products to over 100 countries, primarily in emerging markets such as Middle East, Asia, Africa, and South America. The company also supplies essential medicines such as malaria treatment and antibiotics to global non-governmental organizations, including the World Health Organization, Medicins Sans Frontieres and the International Red Cross. Ascendis Health has paid about $290 million to acquire Remedica.

“This investment fits within IFC’s strategy for improving supply of high-quality medical products in developing countries by helping efficient manufacturers and distributors grow and enter new markets,” Moyo added.

Scitec International has a wide range of sports-nutrition products, targeted at functional fitness, strength training, and wellbeing. The products are marketed in about 90 countries worldwide. Ascendis Health has paid about $190 million to acquire Scitec.

“We are excited to have IFC as a long-term strategic partner”, said Dr. Karsten Wellner, CEO of Ascendis. “We are impressed with IFC’s global network of relationships across a diverse range of stakeholders and we look forward to working together with them, capitalizing on their global pharmaceutical expertise as they help us grow and expand our global footprint.”

IFC is the world’s largest multilateral investor in private healthcare, managing an active portfolio of about $1.3 billion worth of health investments. IFC’s investments in service providers, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology are aimed at promoting greater access to affordable and high-quality healthcare.