Proparco and SPE AIF I acquire Saham Pharma in Morocco

published on 20 April 2020
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Through this acquisition, Proparco and the private equity fund SPE AIF I will support the development of Morocco's leading antibiotics manufacturer. This operation illustrates Proparco's strong commitment to local production and access to quality medicines in Morocco and on the African continent.

SPE Capital Partners (“SPE Capital”) is pleased to announce the acquisition of Saham Pharma (“Saham Pharma”), the leading antibiotics manufacturer and distributor of injectable solutions in Morocco, alongside Proparco as a minority investor. The acquisition constitutes the fourth transaction executed through SPE AIF I, a USD 200m Africa-focused private equity fund closed in 2019. It is the second direct equity investment of Proparco within the healthcare sector of Morocco, following groupe ODM in 2018 (hospitals and diagnosis clinics).

Saham Pharma, founded in 2011 after Saham Group’s acquisition of GlaxoSmithKline’s beta-lactams production site in Morocco and led by Younous Elalamy, is among the fastest growing pharmaceuticals companies in Morocco. With its state-of-the-art facility, Saham Pharma has developed an unmatched expertise in manufacturing high quality antibiotics products. In recent years, the company significantly increased its market share in the growing Moroccan hospital sector and began exporting its products to other African countries. Saham Pharma stands as the partner of choice for renowned multinational leaders such as GSK, Octapharma, and Amgen.

Through the acquisition of Saham Pharma, the management team, SPE Capital and Proparco aim to accelerate the growth of the company, by consolidating its position as the leader of the manufacturing of antibiotics in Morocco, integrating further into the hospital value chain and continuing to develop internationally.

Increasing access to essential goods and services, a key priority for Proparco

Samuel Touboul, Senior Investment Officer at Proparco: “We are very proud to support, under the leadership of SPE Capital, Saham Pharma and more generally the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector in Morocco, which we believe are key components of development for the country. Saham Pharma is an historical player of the pharmaceutical sector, with high impact on the Moroccan population, and we have full confidence in its talented management and employees to further provide high quality medicine and treatments in Morocco and abroad.”

Thanks to this operation, nearly 750,000 people should benefit from improved access to essential medicines over the next few years. More than 170 jobs should also be created or maintained in the company. This project will therefore contribute to Sustainable Development Objectives 3 (Good health and well-being) and 8 (Decent employment and economic growth).

Strengthening health systems, a key development issue

This is Proparco's second direct investment in the healthcare sector in Morocco, following an initial investment in the Oncology and Diagnostics Group of Morocco ("ODM") in 2018 (hospitals and diagnostic clinics).

"We have long been convinced that support for players working to improve the quality of the offering for the benefit of patients in our countries of operation must be at the heart of our action. This direct investment in Saham Pharma illustrates Proparco's commitment to strengthening health systems and access to quality essential medicines in Morocco. It is also in this sense that we have carried out a capital increase for the ODM group in order to enable this leading player in the private health sector to meet the financing needs resulting from the current health emergency", adds Yazid Safir, Proparco's Director for North Africa.

This new operation falls within the framework of the French initiative Choose Africa implemented by AFD Group. Launched in 2019, this initiative ambitions to commit 2.5 billion euros to start-ups and MSMEs in Africa by 2022.

A solid partnership for business growth

Commenting on the acquisition, Younous Elalamy said: “Our growth has been accelerating over the past years and we are happy to have private equity investors of the quality of SPE Capital and Proparco partner with us to support our continued development over the coming years. We have ambitious plans for Saham Pharma and look forward to combining our strengths to create value for the company and its sharehoders.”

Nabil Triki, Managing Partner and CEO at SPE Capital: “This will be our second investment in Morocco through the fund SPE AIF I and the second in the pharmaceuticals industry, following our investment last year in Future Pharmaceuticals Industry in Egypt. We believe the pharmaceutical sector has strong fundamentals of growth and resilience. Within the sector, players with solid management, manufacturing excellence and strong marketing know-how, like Saham Pharma, can significantly outperform the market. Today, we are happy and excited to join forces with Dr. Younous Elalamy and his team to take Saham Pharma to the next level”.

Further reading

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