Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company ADQ signed an agreement to acquire Turkish pharmaceutical company Birgi Mefar Group (BMG) to boost its healthcare and life sciences portfolio.
BMG produces sterile injectable products, including vials and pre-filled syringes used for vaccines, as well as primary packaging ampoules and vials for other sterile injectables, ADQ said on Monday.
It also specialises in drug lyophilisation, a process of freeze-drying drugs to remove water.
The value of the deal was not provided and the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.
"Turkey is an important market for our investments and BMG brings with it a strong presence throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain, from drug development and manufacturing to packaging and cold chain distribution," said Fahad Al Qassim, executive director of the healthcare and life sciences portfolio at ADQ.
"With this integrated capability, we believe it can enhance local expertise and build on the UAE’s ability to manufacture and distribute quality health products as the region’s leading pharmaceutical hub.”
The latest deal to acquire BMG will provide ADQ "exposure to a fast-growing market of injectables and high-value treatments, such as vaccines, as well as access a wide customer network ranging from large multinationals to local and regional players", it said.
BMG currently exports to more than 30 countries, including markets across Europe and Asia. The company's chief executive, Faik Somer, said joining ADQ's portfolio would "elevate our offering and enable us to scale in lucrative markets" such as the UAE and the wider Mena region.
The UAE, which imports about 80 per cent of its pharmaceutical products, according to ADQ, has been investing heavily in boosting its local manufacturing capabilities to reduce costs and ensure steady supplies.
The size of the local pharmaceutical market is expected to hit $4.7 billion in value by 2025.
The number of manufacturing units in the UAE reached 23 in 2021, compared with four in 2010, with 14 producing medicines, four manufacturing medical devices and two focused on disinfectant solutions.
There are now more than 2,500 medicines produced locally and the UAE plans to grow its pharmaceutical export market by 15 per cent from 2021 levels to about $297 million by 2025.
ADQ, which has a broad portfolio of investments spanning sectors such as energy, utilities, food and agriculture, mobility and logistics, is boosting its healthcare and life sciences portfolio.
In September last year, the company announced an agreement to acquire Acino, a Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer with a presence in more than 90 countries.
The company manufactures products covering 20 therapeutic areas, including gastroenterology, cardiovascular and pain relief.
In 2021, ADQ also acquired Amoun Pharmaceutical Company, an Egypt-based manufacturer, distributor and exporter of branded pharmaceutical and animal health products for $470m, and Pharmax Pharmaceuticals, a UAE-based pharmaceutical company that manufactures and markets cheaper, branded generic medications.
ADQ also purchased a minority stake in India-based Biocon Biologics, which specialises in developing, manufacturing and marketing cheaper biosimilars globally.