The Abraaj Group exits Unimed via an IPO on the Tunis Stock Exchange

04 May 2016

The Abraaj Group (‘Abraaj’ or the ‘Group’), a leading investor operating in global growth markets, today announced that it has successfully exited its investment in leading Tunisian pharmaceutical company Unité de fabrication de médicaments (‘Unimed’ or the ‘Company’), through an initial public offering (‘IPO’) on the Tunis Stock Exchange. The Abraaj Group invested in Unimed through one of its Funds in 2011.

Unimed represents the first IPO this year on the Tunis Stock Exchange, and the first in the pharmaceutical sector since 2007. The IPO was priced at 11.8 Tunisian Dinars (TND) per share, implying a market capitalization of TND 300 million (approximately US$ 150 million). The IPO was oversubscribed in the books by 32.6 times – the highest ever recorded for the Tunis Stock Exchange.

Unimed is a leading 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. The Company currently holds 329 marketing authorizations, of which 97 were obtained in the last two years.
Over the course of its investment, Abraaj was instrumental in expanding Unimed’s footprint through an export-focused strategy. As at 31 December 2015, 35% of total sales were from exports to over 17 countries in North Africa, West Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Additionally, revenue grew by almost 100% in 2015, compared to 2010. The Company’s EBITDA grew by 78% over the same period, with an average margin of 40%. Abraaj’s sustained support led to a successful pre-IPO transaction in December 2015, in which 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.

Since Abraaj’s investment, Unimed has increased its headcount by 14% on average per year. More than 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. From an environmental, social and governance (ESG) perspective, Unimed put in place waste reduction and safety measures, first aid and firefighting training for all employees, and enhanced its financial reporting mechanisms. In 2015, spending on training increased by 45%, and spending on local utilities and taxes increased by 53%.
Abraaj has a strong track record of investing in healthcare, having deployed over US$ 1 billion globally since 2003 across the healthcare spectrum in growth markets. Unimed represents Abraaj’s second exit in the pharmaceutical sector in Tunisia. In 2013, Abraaj sold its stake in Opalia Pharma S.A to international pharmaceutical company Recordati.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Ahmed Badreldin, Partner and Regional Head of Middle East and North Africa at The Abraaj Group, said: “It has been a privilege partnering with Ridha Charfeddine, who with the support of a solid management team and dedicated employees, has built Unimed into a leading pharmaceutical company, recognized for delivering high quality products across North Africa.

“We are very proud of the oversubscribed offering and the successful listing of Unimed on the Tunis Stock Exchange. Unimed’s listing not only supports Abraaj’s rationale of investing in well-managed companies with proven business models and the capacity to scale, but is also an indicator of foreign investor confidence in North African businesses,” he added.

Adel Goucha, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group, commented: “We recognized the healthcare opportunity in North Africa early on, in a market with a growing middle class, rising healthcare expenditure and expanding life expectancy. On the back of these demographic fundamentals, Unimed has achieved substantial growth in revenues and expanded its brand across the region through a widened export footprint. We were also able to focus on the development of production technologies and invest in R&D to improve the long-term competitiveness of the business. We are confident that the Company is well positioned for continued growth and success ahead.”

Commenting on the exit and IPO, Ridha Charfeddine, Founder at Unimed, said: “We are pleased with the overwhelming interest in the offering which has led to the successful listing of Unimed and opened an exciting new chapter for the Company’s growth. Abraaj has served as the ideal institutional partner for Unimed and solidified our standing as one of the largest and most trusted healthcare companies in North Africa. We are now poised to expand further as a public entity on the Tunisian market and gain a broader footprint across the region.”

The Abraaj Group has four investments in Tunisia including the North Africa Hospital Holdings Group, a healthcare platform to enhance the quality and accessibility of healthcare in Tunisia, and L’Accumulateur Tunisian ASSAD, a leading battery manufacturer.

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