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Ghana pharma firms merge into single giant

Ghana pharma firms merge into single giant

Gloved hands sorting pharmaceuticals

Three Ghanaian pharmaceutical firms have merged into a single business with the ambition of expanding into the rest of West Africa and beyond. Tom Minney reports

Three Ghanaian pharmaceutical firms merged to become the largest local pharmaceutical manufacturing company, with a portfolio of over 80 products. The new entity, Dannex Ayrton Starwin Plc (DAS Pharma), listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange on 15 January.

Two pharma firms, Ayrton and Starwin, have been delisted as part of the merger. Daniel Apeagyei Kissi, CEO at DAS Pharma, said merger synergies would improve operating efficiency, optimise costs and improve its offering to customers and consumers. 

The company will be able to grow volumes and profitability, achieving its growth ambitions: “We will invest in the business to strengthen our footing in Ghana and expand into the rest of West Africa and beyond.” 

The merged business has a distribution network across Ghana with some 600 staff and over 2,000 active wholesale and retail customers.

Nik Amarteifio, Chairman of DAS Pharma, said the companies had to merge because of the changing business landscape, in order to survive. They hoped for synergies from merging administration, procurement and production and anticipated the company would increase technical capabilities.

He added that the combined market capitalisation would be enough to attract potential investors and discussions are advanced with investors, including a sovereign and health-oriented funds.

Ekow Afedzie, Managing Director of the GSE, said it was the first time that two listed local companies had merged with a non-listed entity to list on the GSE. The market capitalisation of the company was GHC33m.

He urged local companies seeking to expand their operations to look to the GSE to raise capital.

According to local reports, the merger started six years ago when local pharmaceutical company Dannex acquired majority shares in Starwin Products Limited, through a rights issue where Dannex became the biggest shareholder of the company with 185.3 million shares (71%). 

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