Sun moves forward with plant in Egypt started by Ranbaxy

Sun Pharma will build a manufacturing plant in 6th October City in Egypt

Sun Pharma’s Ranbaxy unit has started work on a manufacturing plant in Egypt, a project that got under way well before Sun bought Ranbaxy in 2015.

The $12.5 million facility will be built in the 6th October City, a suburb of Cairo, MoneyControl reports and is progressing in spite of political unrest in the country. Hany Mashaal, country manager for Sun and head of Ranbaxy in the Middle East, said at an inauguration that Ranbaxy had decided to build a plant in Egypt as early as 2004, MoneyControl reports.  

"Despite several barriers and many political and economic issues we decided to proceed with the investment due to our belief in the potential of the Egyptian market," Mashaal said.

According to a Ranbaxy annual report for 2013-2014, the company started work on a green field manufacturing facility in Egypt at the end 2012 with a capacity to produce 50 million tablets per year. This report said the project was partly delayed due to political unrest in the country since protests in 2011 ended the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak. Sun bought Ranbaxy in 2015 in a $4 billion deal that made it the largest drugmaker based in India. 

Egypt is a market that few outside drugmakers have tried to take on. Valeant Pharmaceuticals shelled out $800 million in 2015 to buy Amoun Pharmaceutical, Egypt’s largest drugmaker and picking up what it said at the time was one of the largest and most up-to-date pharmaceutical facilities in Africa and the Middle East. But with Valeant’s debt, and legal problems, growing, the company last year said it would put Amoun up for sale.

Jordan-based Hikma in 2013 pulled off a $22.2 million deal to acquire the Egyptian Company for Pharmaceuticals & Chemical Industries, known as EPCI. As part of the deal, Hikma got a portfolio of three dozen drugs and general formulations plant in Egypt as well as a facility dedicated to making cephalosporin drugs.