By Peter Egwuatu
THE French pharmaceutical multinational firm, Biogaran, has acquired Nigeria’s leading drug maker, Swiss Pharma Nig Ltd (commonly referred to as Swipha).
Biogaran, a subsidiary of Servier (the number 2 French pharmaceutical group) that specializes in generics, announced the indirect acquisition of one of the oldest Nigerian drug production and distribution companies incorporated in 1976, yesterday.
Biogaran said it is interested in developing Swipha’s portfolio, which is mainly focused on three axes: anxiolytics and tranquilizers, antimalarials and antibiotics, which treat the most common infections and health problems in Nigeria.
President of Biogran, Mr. Pascal Briere, in a statement made available to Vanguard said “Swipha’s know-how, network and reputation immediately convinced us that it was the right partner for us.”
Biogaran also declared that it has chosen Nigeria to realize its first investment in Africa because of the many long-term opportunities offered by the country, which is Africa’s most populous (184 million inhabitants in 2016 according to the IMF).
“Nigeria quickly established itself as the best point of entry on the African continent, with 184 million potential consumers and strong economic fundamentals, including a dynamic market economy,” Pascal Brière stated.
Biogaran says it intends to build on existing distributions networks and relations with clients and suppliers so as to increase the production level and make the expected sales happen by growing its presence on the Nigerian territory. It also aims at developing five to ten products a year and become the 2nd or 3rd biggest market player in the next five years.
“Our first aim is to help Swipha navigate tough market conditions and face growing competition on a very dynamic market. In the medium term we will commit what is necessary to allow Swipha to uphold and strengthen its position as a true Nigerian leader on its sector. We are also planning on sharing expertise and know-how, which is of utmost importance to reach these goals,” says Pascal Brière.
Biogaran’s strategy is also a bet on Nigeria’s longer-term industrialization. “Manufacturing locally is a real advantage compared to imports from outside. Not only is it a hedge against currency gyrations.”