Cipla plans acquisitions to take top spot in South African drug market

Cipla has a strong presence in both private and tender markets in South Africa

Cipla plans acquisitions to take top spot in South Africa drug market

Sohini Das Mumbai

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Cipla is eyeing the number one position in the South African market, which roughly accounts for a little over 10 per cent of its consolidated turnover.

During the first quarter investor call, Cipla MD and global CEO Umang Vohra said that the pharma company wants to claim the pole position in South Africa. “So, I think, the focus will be to do acquisitions -- small acquisitions in South Africa,” he said.

“In South Africa, we are pleased to share that Cipla is now the second-largest player in the prescription market by market share. Cipla grew at a four-year CAGR of 8.6 per cent in the market, which is growing at 3.6 per cent, according to the IQVIA MAT May 2023. South Africa's private market grew 13 per cent year-on-year, powered by an uptick in focused therapies in our prescription business, as well as high growth of 16 per cent in our OTC portfolio,” he had said.

Even as the market is abuzz with the Cipla promoters, the Hamied family, exiting the business by selling their stake, the pharma major is going about in business-as-usual mode. It announced the acquisition of Actor Pharma in South Africa, a fast growing player in the over-the-counter (OTC) drugs space in South Africa.

Actor Pharma, established in 2009, is the fifth-largest privately-owned OTC player in South Africa. It has strong consumer brands in categories, such as women’s health, nasal, cough and cold, and baby and child.

Cipla has a strong presence in both private and tender markets in South Africa. In FY23, the OTC business contributed 35 per cent to the overall South Africa private business. The prescription business contributed 65 percent.

"We are currently the 3rd largest OTC player in the market,  by market share, which is at 7.5 per cent as per IQVIA MAT June 2023. Our recent acquisition of Actor Pharma underpins our commitment and investment in the over-the-counter (OTC) business and supports our  journey to be a leading health-care player in South Africa," said a Cipla spokesperson.

First Published: Sep 05 2023 | 8:39 PM IST

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