Ascendis Health's acquisition bids approved
Ascendis Health (Pty) Limited, completed its 100 percent acquisition of specialist medical company Surgical Innovations (Pty) Limited after receiving competition commission approval, and of Atka Pharma (Pty) Limited.
Both targeted acquisitions follow on from the successful listing of Ascendis on the main board of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in the pharmaceutical sector in November last year.
Group Chief Executive Dr Karsten Wellner, said: "These two exciting acquisitions, are aligned to our clearly stated growth strategy, and brings our total investment in the past two years to more than R1.5 billion, delivering on our deliberate strategy of combining mature, well managed, resilient and complementary brands with exciting growth potential in South Africa, as well as globally.”
“Surgical Innovations compliments the Pharma-Med division alongside Pharma-Chem, and is a fast growing medical device distributor, specialising in state of the art high-tech surgical device needs of South African surgeons.
“It employs more than 135 staff and has achieved compound annual growth in revenue of over 20 percent over the past three years.” Dr Wellner said.
The company holds international key agencies for surgical and other medical equipment on an exclusive basis, which further enhances the Company’s positioning to service hospitals and clinics.
Atka Pharma, which markets the fast growing brand BioBalance, will join well-known brands Nimue, Solal, Sportron, SSN and Evox in Ascendis’s Consumer Brands division.
Atka’s products are mainly marketed in retail pharmacy on recommendations from medical practitioners and include the compound Carbohydrate Derived Fulvic Acid (CHD-FA). The products are marketed under the BioBalance trademark owned by Atka.
Atka has been growing in excess of 50 percent per annum in the past three years. Dr Wellner said: “Atka is a very attractive proposition as it is a proudly South African company, based on a locally produced API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) offering a sought after range of scientifically well documented products.”
The new acquisitions provide multiple opportunities to develop cross product synergies within the Ascendis Group as well as benefiting from the economies of scale.
Route to market for all products is well developed with experienced personnel in place targeting hospitals, GP’s and pharmacies, which provide efficient channels for most current and future products.
Ascendis consists of three core divisions catering for preventive as well as interventionist healthcare requirements.
The three divisions are Consumer Brands (over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, sports nutrition and specialist skin care products), Pharma-Med (prescription drugs and medical devices) and Phyto-Vet (plant and animal health and care).
Dr Wellner concluded: “We are excited about the addition of Surgical Innovations and Atka Pharma to our group as they reflect the kind of well known, well managed brands with excellent growth potential.
“We also have a very strong deal pipeline and expect several deals to be announced soon, allowing us to develop a strong market position and become a leading player in the local and international health and care sector.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.