Despite recent difficulties on the economic front, the Nigerian economy still looks attractive to some foreign investors as Biogaran, a subsidiary of Servier (the number 2 French pharmaceutical group) that specialises in generics, announced the indirect acquisition of Swiss Pharma Nig. Ltd (commonly referred to as Swipha), one of Nigeria’s oldest drug production and distribution companies, incorporated in 1976.
Biogaran is interested in developing Swipha’s portfolio, which is mainly focused on three axes: anxiolytics and tranquilisers, antimalarials and antibiotics, which treat the most common infections and health problems in Nigeria.
Swipha is famous for the quality of its products and has a strong track record to prove it. It was the first Nigerian pharmaceutical company to obtain “ISO 9001:2008” certification in 2007. It was given WHO GMP certification by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2014, first among its West African peers.
The company employs 300 people locally and had a turnover of N4 billion before the crisis. Beyond its production unit, the company also controls an extensive distribution network covering most of Nigeria. “Swipha’s know-how, network and reputation immediately convinced us that it was the right partner for us,” said Pascal Brière, President of Biogaran.
Biogaran also declares it has chosen Nigeria to realise 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,” Brière stated.