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Amethis takes minority stake in Avacare

Staff writer
Sept. 22, 2021, 10:24 p.m.

Word count: 720

Amethis has acquired a minority stake in Avacare, a distributor and manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and healthcare consumable products in Zimbabwe.

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Amethis has acquired a minority stake in Avacare, a distributor and manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and healthcare consumable products in Zimbabwe.

“We are very proud to invest in a leading regional pharmaceutical distributor and manufacturer such as Avacare, which plays a decisive role in providing access to affordable and innovative treatments in Africa and in the improvement of healthcare and quality of life among low-to-middle income populations in the continent. In addition, we strongly believe in Avacare’s strategy to further expand its manufacturing activities in a context where the African continent must build up and reinforce its production capabilities to address the increasing local demand for medicines,” said Khady Koné-Dicoh, Partner at Amethis.

“Avacare is well-positioned to tap into the growing healthcare market in Africa and has demonstrated a strong track record and resilience to economic challenges and the sanitary crisis,” he added.

From a local disposable distribution company created in Harare in 1996 by Dr Vikramkumar Naik, Avacare has successfully become a pan-African pharmaceutical distributor and manufacturer operating across a large number of African countries including South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia and Kenya.

Avacare sells over 9,000 products supported by c. 1,300 employees and achieved a turnover of $200m in FY 2021.

Avacare also has access to 32 warehousing facilities, 47 sales offices and 15 manufacturing facilities across Africa. 

Thanks to strategic partnerships Avacare has also become one of the leading distributors of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs in Southern Africa, playing a key role in the fight against HIV in the most affected region in the world and home to more than 50% of the estimated worldwide population living with HIV.

In addition to its strong positioning in the distribution of innovative ARV, the Group offers a large and diversified portfolio of pharmaceutical products aimed at addressing illnesses such as hypertension, mental health, tuberculosis, diabetes, cancer, and more.

As a pan-African healthcare company with deep roots in Africa, part of Avacare’s vision is to localise not only marketing, sales, and distribution, but also to promote the research development and manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in each region in which it operates.

Furthermore, Avacare also aims to bridge the healthcare divide on the African continent through the transfer of cutting-edge technologies in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA), biologicals, biosimilars and bioequivalent and through the development of healthcare technology aimed at broadening access to quality affordable healthcare.

Avacare also recently expanded its product range into the fast-growing nutraceutical market with a presence in South Africa, Australia, Canada, and the United States. 

In addition to pharmaceutical products, the group also has a strong presence in healthcare consumables, particularly in the Southern African region and has been at the forefront in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 through the sale of protection consumables and by being part of the South African consortium working with World Health Organization to establish the first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in the continent.

Amethis aims to support Avacare in its strategic shift towards manufacturing while continuing to consolidate its positioning in existing and in new markets and to support the Group’ strong desire to upgrade its governance and reinforce its management.

Amethis’ ambitions to further support the consolidation of the group in South Africa and its geographical expansion in Eastern and francophone Africa where the fund has a historically large business network and footprint.

“To welcome Amethis as a partner is an exciting new chapter in the journey for Avacare. We are looking forward to working with them to further expand and strengthen our footprint on the African continent and to expand our range of products both in existing and new markets," said Dr Naik, the founder and Chairman of Avacare.

“Amethis’ focus and understanding of the African continent brings a unique value proposition to the partnership and will contribute to assisting Avacare’s African expansion through relationships, insights, and knowledge, all of which are unique to Africa. This focus is also well aligned with Avacare’s vision and purpose: - to bring affordable quality healthcare to Africa,” he added.

While ENS South Africa was Avacare legal counsel on this transaction, Amethis was advised by Deloitte South Africa on the financial and tax due diligence, by Dentons on the legal documentation, by Alcimed for the market due diligence and by IBIS Consulting for the E&S due diligence.

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