Imperial acquires 49% of Ascendis Pharma to grow healthcare footprint in South Africa

2 February 2022

Imperial is pleased to announce that its Market Access business has jointly acquired Ascendis SA Holdings Proprietary Limited ("Ascendis Pharma"), a subsidiary of JSE-listed Ascendis Health Limited ("Ascendis Health"), with Pharma-Q Holdings Proprietary Limited ("Pharma-Q"). This acquisition will give Imperial a 49% stake in Ascendis Pharma, with Pharma-Q acquiring the remaining 51%.  

Ascendis Pharma operates primarily within the private and public sectors of the South African pharmaceutical industry, and is a marketer and distributor of both prescription and over the counter ("OTC") medicines. Its customers are healthcare professionals, retail pharmacies, pharmaceutical wholesalers, private hospital groups, as well as government hospitals and clinics.

"This acquisition will contribute to growing our healthcare business in South Africa by enabling us to drive scale in generic pharmaceuticals and build a complementary basket of OTC products, both of which bode well for our aspirations of becoming a leading healthcare player in the country," says Mohammed Akoojee, Group CEO at Imperial. "Ascendis Pharma's strong new product pipeline and significant growth potential, including in the rest of Africa, are well-aligned with Imperial's 'Gateway to Africa' strategy".  

Imperial's partner in this acquisition, Pharma-Q, is one of South Africa's leading pharmaceutical manufacturing businesses with over 21 years' experience in the industry. Its focus in palliative and pain management, amongst other therapeutic categories, has made the company a well-established player in the pharma industry.

This transaction is still subject to the approval by the shareholders of Ascendis Health and other regulatory approvals.

Johan Truter, CEO of Imperial's Market Access business, adds: "As a purpose-driven organisation that aims to connect every patient to quality healthcare every day, Imperial is excited about this strategic acquisition as it allows us to optimise and expand our healthcare reach in South Africa, along with potential expansion opportunities in the rest of Africa."

This transaction is another milestone for Imperial's healthcare business following its recent strategic alliance with UbiPharm, representing one of the most expansive networks for healthcare distribution on the continent.

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