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Sat 2 Nov 2013 10:19 AM

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Dubai's Abraaj exits investment in Tunisian pharma firm

Private equity firm says it has sold stake in Opalia Pharma to Italian-based Recordati

Dubai's Abraaj exits investment in Tunisian pharma firm

Dubai-based Abraaj Group has announced its full exit from Tunisian pharmaceutical company Opalia Pharma.

The private equity firm said in a statement that it has sold its entire stake to Recordati, an international pharmaceutical company listed on the Italian stock exchange.

The Abraaj Group invested in Opalia in 2009 and the deal marks the Group's first realisation in the Tunisian market.

Over the past four years, Abraaj's involvement with Opalia helped more than double sales, the statement said.

Opalia Pharma is a Tunisian pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Ariana, a suburb of Tunis. The company markets branded generic drugs with leading products in dermatology and in the gastrointestinal and respiratory therapeutic areas.

Ahmed Badreldin, partner, The Abraaj Group, said: "The investment case for Opalia was compelling, as the company operates in a pharmaceutical market which has seen uninterrupted growth in Tunisia over recent years, driven by favourable demographics and increasing GDP per capita.

"The penetration of generic drugs manufacturing, which has historically been low in North Africa, is now gradually increasing to European levels. We invested in Opalia because the company had the right team and the right product mix. It is now time for a firm such as Recordati, a global player in pharmaceuticals, to take Opalia Pharma forward."

Alya El Hedda, founder of Opalia Pharma, who will be staying on as CEO, added: "Abraaj's investment and ongoing support over the past four years has been invaluable to Opalia's growth story. It has laid the foundations for the next phase of our expansion."

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