The Abraaj Group partially exits stake in Tunisian pharmaceutical

22 Dec 2015
Financial Nigeria


Abraaj, through one of its Funds, invested in Unimed in 2011.

Arif Masood Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive, The Abraaj Group

The Abraaj Group announced on Tuesday the successful exit, through one of its Funds, its partial stake in leading Tunisian pharmaceutical company Unité de fabrication de médicaments (Unimed).

Abraaj, a private equity investing firm operating in the growth markets including in Africa, Asia and in Middle East, along with Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique S.A. (Proparco), a development finance institution, exited 83% of their combined stake to a consortium of investors including Washington-based SQM, Blakeney Asset Management, the Tunisian-Kuwaiti Consortium of Development (CTKD), and two local investors.

Established in 1989 by Ridha Charfeddine, Unimed is the second largest local pharmaceutical company in Tunisia, specializing in sterile dosage forms such as liquid and powder injectables, intravenous (IV) solutions and a range of ophthalmic products. Unimed manufactures for global partners such as Pfizer and Mylan, and is the first company in Tunisia to be AFFSAP-certified.

Abraaj, through one of its Funds, invested in Unimed in 2011. Since the start of its investment, Abraaj, alongside Unimed’s leadership team, increased the Company’s revenue year-on-year. Unimed currently holds 329 marketing authorizations, including 97 obtained over the last two years. The company has also increasingly adopted an export-focused strategy which resulted in 41.5% of total sales in 2014 being exported to over 17 countries in North Africa, West Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Abraaj’s financial and operational support has enabled Unimed to expand its regional footprint, upgrade manufacturing equipment and enhance its corporate governance and financial reporting mechanisms. Unimed places a strong focus on workforce development by implementing training and development programmes for its employees. Almost half of Unimed’s workforce is made up of women, 25.8% higher than the average female-to-male ratio in the Tunisian labour force.

 Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Regional Head for Middle East and North Africa at The Abraaj Group, said, “Our investment in Unimed over the past four years has helped cement the company’s position as a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in North Africa... 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.”

“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,” Adel Goucha, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, added. “Alongside our new and existing partners, we look forward to supporting Unimed’s continued success as it seeks to pursue further expansion opportunities.”

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