KELIX bio set to acquire Morocco-based pharmaceutical institute

Development Partners International (DPI) and CDC Group today announced that an agreement has been signed for KELIX bio to acquire Pharmaceutical Institute (PHI), a Moroccan-headquartered producer and distributor of generic and therapeutic pharmaceuticals.

DPI is an investment firm focused on Africa with $2.8 billion in assets under management including co-investments. CDC Group is UK’s development finance institution that will shortly be renamed British International Investment (BII).



The acquisition, which will be financed through up to a $200 million second round of funding into KELIX bio led by DPI and CDC/BII, is subject to regulatory approvals in Morocco. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Founded in 1989 by the Sedrati family, PHI is a leading manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceutical products in Morocco. The company has a strong international partners network and complementary manufacturing capabilities that will support KELIX bio’s strategy to create local ecosystems for production and distribution.

The proposed acquisition will mark KELIX bio’s first entry into Morocco, an important market on the continent, and gateway into the Francophone Africa pharma market, as it accelerates its expansion across the region. It will also enable PHI to expand its existing product range, benefitting from KELIX bio’s research and development capabilities, cross-selling synergies, and economies of scale it will provide.

There is significant demand in Africa for affordable specialty drugs, accessible to underserved communities that need them the most. KELIX bio, a $750 million pan-African buy and build platform, was established in 2020 by DPI, CDC and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in response to this demand.



KELIX bio has an ambitious impact-focused strategy, driven by co-founders CEO Hocine Sidi-Said, and Chief Strategy Officer, Alhadi Alwazir, to improve the quality of life for people across the continent, through the delivery of critical, life-saving drugs. Adding to the bench of experience, KELIX bio has recently appointed new Chairman, Jerome Silvestre, who brings significant expertise in the global pharmaceutical and branded generics industry.

“KELIX bio is a gamechanger that has the potential to transform the African pharmaceutical industry – a sector that has historically been significantly underserved and inaccessible to many,” said Sofiane Lahmar, Partner at DPI.

“Signing this new agreement to acquire PHI demonstrates KELIX’s strong pipeline of opportunities and will enable it to continue to create significant long-term impact for communities across Africa, through delivery of essential and life-saving drugs. As a founding investor in KELIX bio, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the management team, BII, EBRD and future investors to the platform, as it progresses with its expansion.”

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive at CDC/BII, said: “BII is helping to build productive, sustainable and inclusive economies for the benefit of those that need our capital the most. Providing access to affordable drug treatments is a vital part of that mandate.”

Since its creation in 2020, KELIX bio has already seen rapid growth, demonstrated by its annual sales growing by 44% in 2021. The acquisition of PHI will be the fourth in two years, reaffirming KELIX’s commitment to Africa. The latest funding round by DPI and CDC will bring total capital invested to $450 million, which will be supported by an additional $300 million of planned investment over the next two years, as KELIX bio looks to fund its strong pipeline of opportunities, establish new cross-market distribution channels and support research and development of new drugs.



Jerome Silvestre, KELIX bio Chairman, said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Pharmaceutical Institute to join Kelix Bio, as we focus on our mission of improving access to affordable specialty drugs across Africa. PHI is a leader in the Moroccan pharmaceutical sector, with excellent manufacturing capabilities and a strong distribution network. We are confident, that subject to regulatory approvals, they will be a great addition to KELIX bio and also look forward to continuing partnership with DPI, CDC and EBRD.”

Kelix bio used Sijilmasa Ltd (Mr Amine Rezzouk) as financial advisor and Naciri & Associés Allen & Overy as legal advisor. UGGC was legal advisor to the Sedrati family.