Biogaran acquires production foothold in Nigeria with Swipha acquisition
Biogaran, the French generic manufacturer that is a subsidiary of Servier, has acquired a foothold in Nigeria with a 95% equity buyout of Swipha, the oldest pharmaceutical company in Nigeria. The acquisition provides Biogaran access to medicine production facilities in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa – with an estimated population of 190 million.
Swipharma, before the acquisition, was struggling with mounting debt and the inability to import the raw materials of drug production. It is conjectured that the company may have even been close to hitting the wall before the takeover from Biogaran.
It is Biogaran’s first venture into investing in operations in Africa, and the reasons for such a move are considered to be the large population and the potential for growth within a ‘developing’ economy. Pascal Brière, President of Biogaran, explained the investment rationale to the Nigerian Guardian: “We made a survey of many countries to check whether there was room for strong development of our Biogaran concept abroad but many of such countries were eliminated because they were very mature markets and there was no room for new development to succeed. Nigeria was a different market and had room for development.”
‘Room for development’ will have to take a backseat, in the short-term, as Biogaran’s first step will be to get production back under way of the Swipharma’s products, which include anxiolytics, tranquilisers, antimalarials and antibiotics. Once production is back under way, Biogaran plans to expand Swipharma’s existing distribution network and increase production level to expand its presence within the Nigerian market.