Abraaj and Proparco sell part of its Unimed stake

The Abraaj Group has sold part of its stake in Unimed, a Tunisian pharmaceutical company. Also, development finance institution Proparco has sold part of its Unimed stake as well. The buyers include SQM, Blakeney Asset Management and the Tunisian-Kuwaiti Consortium of Development.


Tunis, Tunisia, 22 December 2015: The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or the ‘Group’), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced the successful exit through one of its Funds of a partial stake in leading Tunisian pharmaceutical company Unité de fabrication de médicaments (‘Unimed’ or the ‘Company’). Abraaj and development finance institution Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Economique S.A. (‘Proparco’) 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 programs 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 labor 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. 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.”

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

Commenting on the transaction, Ridha Charfeddine, Founder at Unimed, said: “Abraaj has played an instrumental role in helping us provide trusted healthcare solutions across North Africa and increase our exports to regional markets. With our new partners on board, we look forward to working together in the next growth chapter of our business.”

Since 2003, Abraaj has deployed nearly US$ 1 billion globally across the healthcare spectrum in growth markets, including healthcare delivery and services, diagnostics centers and pharmaceuticals. Abraaj has four investments in Tunisia including the North Africa Hospital Holdings Group, a healthcare platform to enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare in Egypt and Tunisia, and L’Accumulateur Tunisien ASSAD, a leading battery manufacturer.