The Abraaj Group invests in Morocco-based Steripharma

The Abraaj Group, a private equity firm that focuses on the healthcare sector, said Tuesday that it has made an undisclosed investment in Steripharma. Headquartered in Casablanca, Morocco, Steripharma is a producer and provider of pharmaceutical products.


Casablanca, Morocco, 10 September 2013
The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in growth markets, today announced an investment in Moroccan company Steripharma, a manufacturer and marketer of pharmaceutical products.
Headquartered in Casablanca, Steripharma began its operations in 2002 with the manufacture of pharmaceuticals that are GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliant. The company has a broad portfolio of products, both in solid and liquid form, and handles services including manufacturing, marketing, and subcontracting. Steripharma provides a consolidated distribution service through private sector wholesalers and the regulated pharmaceutical distribution network in Morocco. It also distributes to the Moroccan public health sector through the Ministry of Health, and to nearby export markets.
The Abraaj Group’s new investment and strategic support, through one of its Funds, will enable the expansion of Steripharma’s footprint in the industry and help further develop the company’s exports, primarily to the private sector of North and Sub-Saharan Africa. It will also allow Steripharma to engage in its second phase of its growth plan, with the development of a new GMP plant in order to increase its production capacity.
Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Head of MENA at The Abraaj Group, commented on the transaction: “Pharma is amongst the best performing sectors in Africa; the industry has been growing at a steady rate over the past few years and this momentum is expected to continue in tandem with overall economic growth being witnessed in Africa. In Morocco, where local consumption is still low compared to other markets in North Africa, there is strong demand vs. low penetration of generics, which creates the opportunity to develop high-quality, GMP-level products at an affordable price. The development of reimbursement schemes for medical expenses will also help sustain industry growth in the country and region-wide.”
“Abraaj has demonstrated a deep understanding of our business, the pharmaceutical sector, and the larger African healthcare industry”, said Mohamed Amal El Bouri, Founder and Executive Chairman of Steripharma. “Abraaj’s relevant healthcare and pharma experience, business development expertise and extensive local and global industry relationships will provide Steripharma with both the resources and funds to achieve our long-term growth plans. We are also pleased to welcome Abraaj to our board, and look forward to working closely together as we enlarge our portfolio of products and expand capacity to hopefully open up exciting opportunities.”
Isabelle Portebois-Benjelloun, Director at The Abraaj Group, said: “The Abraaj Group is pleased to support Steripharma’s expansion and confident that its increasing presence in the African pharmaceutical sector will have a significant impact on the local supply chain, with socio-economic benefits related to community healthcare, employment and business development.”
“A consistent theme throughout Africa is the unavailability of quality healthcare goods and services at accessible price points,” commented Shakir Merali, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group. “This deficit presents an opportunity to invest in solid companies to build scale, increase affordability and achieve world class quality. By doing so, a wide community of consumers touched by these products or services benefit, while robust commercial returns ensure that these businesses remain sustainable and attractive as investment opportunities in the long-term. This type of dual return is what we aim to achieve with our investing strategy for the healthcare sector on the continent.”
Steripharma is highly regarded in its field, abiding to high quality manufacturing standards and local production. The Abraaj Group, a pioneer in sustainable investment and the close integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment principles, will significantly help Steripharma strengthen its own governance and ESG approach.
The Abraaj Group is one of the leading private equity investors in growth markets around the world, with extensive experience in the healthcare sector. Its investments include Uganda’s Vine Pharmaceuticals, Philippines’ HBC, and Saudi Arabia’s Tadawi Group. Additionally, the Group has current investments in nine hospitals, as well as in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical devices manufacturing.