Julphar, the largest Emirati pharmaceutical company, has acquired a majority stake in Bangladesh Company RAK Pharmaceuticals, marking its entry into the region and an expansion of its footprint in Asia.
RAK Pharmaceuticals, based in Bangladesh, was a subsidiary of RAK Ceramics and produces a variety of industry compliant tablets, capsules and syrups that are fit quality wise to meet a regulated healthcare market. The company turned over $5.7 million of sales in 2013, representing growth of 24% on the year before.
Julphar and RAK Pharmaceuticals have had a long term strategic alliance through a joint partnership around technology transfer and a commercial marketing agreement for advanced pharmaceutical products.
With a growing population of around 160 million, demand for healthcare and medicine in Bangladesh has increased steadily over recent years. Pharmaceutical sales in the country reached USD 1.3 billion in 2013.*
Commenting on the acquisition, Dr Ayman Sahli, CEO of Julphar, said: “The size of the Bangladesh market alone provides huge investment opportunities, which can enhance the growing role of Julphar in the global healthcare industry.
“RAK Pharmaceuticals is a relatively young, fresh company with solid infrastructure, growth rates and a healthy pipeline. We share the same vision of providing affordable, accessible medicines to people in regions that need it the most.
“The stable investment outlook and the growing healthcare needs of a large, mostly underserved population make Bangladesh an attractive market for investors. Healthcare plays a major role in the expanding economy for Bangladesh and with this comes a clear need for increased manufacturing.”
In 2013, Julphar launched its first international manufacturing facility in Ethiopia, initiating a global expansion strategy to increase manufacturing capabilities across its major markets. The construction of a new facility in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is currently underway with local partner Cigalah Group.
Julphar was launched in 1980 as a generic pharmaceutical company and turned over AED 1.4 billion of sales in 2014. In 2012, the company made inroads into biotechnology with the launch of a $150 million manufacturing facility in the UAE, entirely dedicated to producing the raw material needed for biosimilar products. Today, this facility is the only plant in the Middle East and Africa region that produces insulin using insulin crystals derived from r-DNA technology.