Strides Arcolab to expand manufacturing in Africa with French investment

A French development bank is buying a fifth of the Africa operations of Strides Arcolab with plans to expand its manufacturing operations in key markets there.

Proparco, which is majority-owned by the French government but which also has private banks as shareholders, will pay $12.5 million for a 20% share.

While some companies have been dabbling in Africa, where they face tough conditions and sometimes questionable political stability, Bangalore, India-based Strides has been forging ahead, reports VC Circle. In the last four years, Strides has built a portfolio of 700 products and grown revenue to $27 million from $10 million in 23 sub-Saharan countries, outside of South Africa. It has about 200 people there.

"Africa is the most attractive business opportunity of tomorrow. The creation of additional manufacturing infrastructure will also provide large employment opportunities and economic growth to all associated with the Strides' African business," says Sinhue Noronha, CEO of Strides Africa.

In January, Strides sold off its Australian generics operations to Watson Pharmaceuticals ($WPI) for about $150 million, allowing Strides to pay down debt and have some cash on hand for other deals. In April, it said it had paid about $24 million to buy a sterile injectables plant in India from Star Drugs and Research Labs.

- read the VC Circle story

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