Imperial acquires Nigerian pharmaceutical distributor
Imperial Logistics, a wholly owned division of Imperial Holdings, has acquired a 53 percent interest in Eco Health, a leading pharmaceutical distributor in Nigeria, for a cash consideration of USD74 million.
Hubert Brody, Chief Executive Officer of Imperial, said: “Eco Health complements our Group’s prior acquisitions of Imperial Health Sciences and MDS (a leading logistics provider in Nigeria), and enables us to enhance our service offering to our customers.”
Based in Lagos, Nigeria, Eco Health also has operations in Ghana and Dubai. It partners with pharmaceutical companies to distribute, sell and market their products, and has longstanding contracts with leading multinational principals.
Outlining the rationale for the transaction, Brody said: “Imperial can now offer customers the huge competitive advantage of an end-to-end capability that encompasses warehousing, logistics, distribution and brand building in this high growth industry and region.
In one move, we have become a full service provider in one of the world’s fastest growing economies in terms of pharmaceuticals - with a Nigerian footprint that now represents all three pillars of our ‘get me there, sell my product, build my brand’ strategy.”
Brody notes that Eco Health also provides Imperial with an excellent base and platform for future growth in Nigeria and other African markets. “We now have a strategic and predetermined route into the French West African market, in particular,” he added.
He explains that Eco Health handles around 30 percent of all of the pharmaceuticals sold and distributed throughout Nigeria, and has an 80 percent market share of the ethicals (branded products) market.
The business has an excellent distribution network and footprint - supplying 4,200 hospitals, 8 000 pharmacies, 2,000 clinics and 40,000 patent medicine vendors with ethical and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Eco Health is currently poised to enter the generics market, which holds enormous potential.
This acquisition is in line with Imperial Logistics’ Africa strategy, which is to focus on the FMCG and pharmaceutical space, Brody explains.
“In 2012 pharmaceutical expenditure in Nigeria amounted to US$951 million. We are confident that Eco Health’s strong growth will continue - and be further augmented by its entry into the generics market.”
The large blue chip customer base of Eco Health will also benefit from the cross selling opportunities that exist between territories of the current Imperial Africa footprint (11 countries). A number of the principles are already current customers of the Imperial distributorship businesses in the FMCG space.
Eco Health offers 10 facilities in Nigeria and two in Ghana, in addition to warehouses totalling 5,100 square meters, cold stores totalling 250 square meters and an outsourced fleet.
Through the acquisition, Imperial Logistics has secured a specialist management team which strengthens and complements the group’s existing skills set in the African logistics industry.
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.