Ascendis Health (Pty) Limited, announced the 100% acquisition of PharmaNatura from Guy Wertheim Aymes Family Holdings for R121m – a deal that includes the wellknown brands Vitaforce, Bettaway, Homeoforce as well as the properties and manufacturing facility in Johannesburg.
Ascendis is a fast growing health products group, which markets health and care brands for humans, plants and animals. Listed on the JSE in November 2013, the group consists of three divisions: consumer brands (nutraceuticals, vitamins, sports nutrition and skin care,) PhytoVet (plant and animal health) and Pharma-Med (prescription drugs and medical devices.)
Commenting on the announcement, GroupChief Executive Dr Karsten Wellner confirmed, "The acquisition of PharmaNatura is the latest in our expansive growth strategy, delivering on combining mature, resilient and well managed health brands and expanding these locally and globally.” Pharma Natura was established in 1959 and specializes in the manufacture of nutritional supplements, herbal and homeopathic medicines through its household consumer brands namely, Vitaforce, Junglevites, Bettaway, Herbaforce and Homeoforce. More than 90%of their Complimentary Medicine (CAMS) products are registered under the Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965. Pharma Natura also manufactures products for recognised third parties under license. Collectively, this enhances Ascendis’ brand positioning to the retail market and provides the necessary manufacturing scale, that will allow Ascendis to unlock significant vertical integration benefits for its existing consumer brands businesses.
The factory comprises 12,000m2 of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified and Medicines Control Council (MCC) licensed manufacturing capacity and forms part of Ascendis’ vertical integration strategy that includes, bringing the manufacture of certain group products in-house and thereby optimising synergies and margins. Ascendis intends integrating the Pharma Natura brands into the existing consumer brands Division. By leveraging off Ascendis’ current health and care platforms and resources, Ascendis intends to further develop the Pharma Natura business into a market-leading manufacturer and distributor in South Africa and internationally. This strategy includes increasing PharmaNatura’s market penetration and expanding production capacities under the continued leadership of Greg Anderson, the existing CEO, to further the consolidation of Ascendis’ consumer brands’ manufacturing requirements.
Dr Wellner continued, “Ascendis has a healthy deal pipeline and will continue to accelerate growth through targeted acquisitions, with several exciting new deals in advanced stages. Internally, our organic growth stands to be fuelled by improved sales channel synergy, vertical integration and economy of scale benefits across all divisions. We have also received interest from well-established offshore distributors for certain of our brands that are not yet exported, which will further accelerate our international expansion drive.”