January 13, 2020

NBK Capital Partners completes the acquisition of Polymedic, a Moroccan generics pharmaceutical company

The deal marks NBK Capital Partners’ first investment in Morocco

NBK Capital Partners – an alternative investments firm that provides flexible growth capital to mid-sized companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey – today announced that it has closed on its acquisition of Polymedic, a leading generics manufacturing company headquartered in Casablanca, Morocco, which owns a diverse portfolio of over 200 registered products across 12 therapeutic areas.

NBK Capital Partners, alongside Foursan Capital Partners II, an institutional private equity fund based in Amman, Jordan will now own majority stake in Polymedic. With this transaction, AfricInvest, a leading pan-African private equity firm, will exit the investment while Dr. Mohamed Houbachi, Polymedic’s CEO, will retain a significant stake. He will remain CEO of Polymedic and will partner with NBK Capital Partners and Foursan Group on the company’s next stage of growth.

The transaction is in line with the growth of the generic drugs manufacturing business across the MENA region, as the MENA pharmaceutical market is expected to grow at 6% per annum over the next five years. The pharmaceutical sector in Morocco is the sixth largest market in Africa and is expected to reach c. USD 2 billion by 2020. Morocco specifically has become a regional hub for local and international pharma players and is considered one of the industry’s largest markets along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. The domestic market is poised for further growth underpinned by expanding nationwide health insurance coverage and support for local drug manufacturers.

NBK Capital Partners has extensive regional experience and capabilities in the healthcare sector, having invested over USD170 million across six regional healthcare companies, including the acquisition of Polymedic.

Yaser Moustafa, Senior Managing Director of NBK Capital Partners, said: “This acquisition is very exciting for NBK Capital Partners, as it allows us to grow our presence in a sector that is buoyed by positive developments. Partnering with industry experts such as Dr. Houbachi who carry immense knowledge and experience in the pharmaceutical sector is a great opportunity for us and we look forward to continuing to drive growth through similar successful collaborations to increase our presence in Morocco and North Africa.”

Nashat Masri, Partner at Foursan Capital Partners II, added: “The concept of aggregating pharmaceutical assets in various countries under a single investment platform has enormous synergistic potential, especially as regulatory environments across the region become increasingly sophisticated and as countries continue to move toward favouring their home industries.”

Dr. Mohamed Houbachi, CEO of Polymedic, said: “I am excited to partner with NBK Capital Partners and look forward to further growing and expanding the business in Morocco and West Africa. I am confident that being part of a regional platform will enable the business to further develop and leverage the tools available to us.”

Brahim El Jai, Executive Partner at AfricInvest added: “In partnering with Polymedic, we have been pleased to support the company’s growth into a strong and sustainable business with best-in-class management and a clear vision for continued success. We look forward to Polymedic’s bright future as it begins its new partnership with NBK Capital Partners.”

Attijariwafa bank Morocco and Attijariwafa bank Middle East (Dubai) served as arranger, facility agent and bookrunner of the transaction financing, advised by Naciri & Associes – Allen & Overy. Attijariwafa bank is proud to support the development of this new pharmaceutical platform in Morocco and MENA region. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Asafo & Co, Dentons, and Clifford Chance acted as the legal advisors for NBK Capital Partners and Polymedic, respectively.

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