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Cipla to acquire South Africa’s Actor Holdings and strenghten OTC presence

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Drugmaker Cipla is set to acquire South Africa’s Actor Holdings (Pty) Ltd for $48.6 million (about ₹402 crore), strengthening its over-the-counter (OTC) products portfolio.

The transaction was executed through Cipla’s wholly-owned subsidiary in South Africa, that signed a binding term-sheet with Actor Holdings to acquire 100 per cent of the issued ordinary shares of Actor Pharma, Cipla said.

This is a strategic acquisition for Cipla South Africa to unlock growth opportunities and leverage cost synergies in the South African market, it said. Actor was founded in 2009 and has grown to become the fifth largest, privately-owned, OTC player in the South African private market, it added.

The transaction is expected to close in three-four months, subject to the negotiation and signing of the definitive transaction agreements (which are expected to be concluded imminently) as well as receiving regulatory approval from South Africa’s Competition Commission, the company said.

The development comes even as Cipla is in the news in India, involving reported efforts of the promoter family selling their stake in the company — something the company management has labelled as “speculation”, without entirely denying it.

OTC presence

Actor specialises in OTC and generic medicine, where it has strong consumer brands, and identified niche prescription markets in segments including women’s health, nasal, cough and cold, and baby and child.

It also had an innovative pipeline and in its last financial year (FY23) delivered revenues of ZAR 234 million, on the back of strong double-digit growth, it said.

Umang Vohra, Cipla Global MD & CEO, said the transaction was in line with the strategy of strengthening its OTC and wellness portfolios. It was an opportunity “to leverage our existing marketing capabilities, unlock future growth opportunities and optimise the performance of our pipeline,” he added.

Paul Miller, CEO, Cipla South Africa, added the deal would build Cipla’s OTC portfolio, “providing the business with a more balanced revenue contribution between the prescription and OTC business and continue to provide additional quality medicines for consumers”.





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