Catalyst Principal Partners acquires majority stake in Tanzanian pharma company for $125M


Paul Kavuma, CEO, Catalyst Principal Partners
Catalyst Principal Partners, a leading East African focused private equity firm, has acquired a controlling stake in Zenufa Laboratories in Tanzania for $125 million.

Zenufa is one of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers in Tanzania. The company’s factory is recognized by the Tanzania Food and Drug Authority (TFDA) as being fully-compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices; as conforming with international guidelines and systems that ensure high standards in design; and for monitoring and control of manufacturing processes and facilities. Zenufa manufactures a wide range of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines for the Tanzanian market, with leading brands including Zenadol, Zenkof, Zn-Vital and Dr. Cold.

Speaking of the acquisition, Martha Osier, Catalyst Investment Manager, stated that: “The acquisition of Zenufa represents an exciting opportunity which will benefit from the strong fundamentals driving rising demand for quality, affordable healthcare products and services”. Martha added: “While the healthcare sector remains dominated by foreign imports representing majority of Tanzania’s medicine supply, as an established local pharmaceutical manufacturer, Zenufa is uniquely positioned to meet the rising healthcare needs of the population through offering affordable, quality medication manufactured to the highest international best practice standards.”

Commenting on the investment strategy, Rajal Upadhyaya, Catalyst Managing Director, said: “Zenufa represents a platform for growth across Eastern Africa, with opportunities for expanding its product range through development of cost-effective generic drugs formulations and for extending distribution channels nationwide and across the region.”

Zenufa offers sustainable social impact by improving health outcomes and the employment of young highly skilled Tanzanian biotechnology graduates. The company has also partnered with a number of organizations to locally develop affordable medicines for neglected diseases, with high impact in improving health standards in Tanzania.

Rajal added: “With the government of Tanzania promoting local manufacturing, Zenufa also aims to actively support public health programs to improve accessibility in the provision of quality medicines to the population.”

The acquisition of Zenufa is Catalyst’s fourth investment in Tanzania and second investment in the healthcare sector after acquiring Mimosa Pharmacy in 2014. Mimosa Pharmacy was later rebranded to Goodlife Pharmacy and the company is now emerging as the leading pharmacy retail chain in the country, rapidly rolling-out high quality outlets across the region.

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