The New Times (Kigali)

23 January 2013

Kenya Firm Fanisi, Sophar Partner in a U.S $2 Million Deal

Fanisi, a Kenyan pharmaceutical company and local pharmaceutical firm, SOPHAR, have formed a joint equity funding partnership worth $2m (about Rwf1.3b).

The deal will see each firm contribute $500,000 into the venture, taking a 50% stake in SOPHAR. In addition, Fanisi will provide a $1m loan to SOPHAR, Ayisi Makatiani, the co-managing partner at Fanisi Capital, said in a statement yesterday.

Makatiani explained that the money would be used to build a WHO-certified warehouse in Kigali and help SOPHAR address capacity gaps in management, strengthen environmental standards, health, safety and governance requirements.

He, however, said the business would continue to be managed by SOPHAR, with support from Fanisi.

"On top of the constant availability of top range drugs, this move will further expand the range of health care services that will be available, especially for the needy," Makatiani said.

Leon Fundira, the SOPHAR executive chairman, said they would also use the funds to recruit top-notch managers within the next year. Long-term, we intend to transform SOPHAR into one of the leading pharmaceutical wholesaler in East and Central Africa," he noted. With the funding, the company hopes to significantly expand the company product range from 900 to 3000 products within a few years, set up distribution centres for enhanced access and improve the supply chain with the collaboration of SOPHAR in Rwanda.

Fanisi Venture Capital Fund is a $50m equity fund that invests into fast growing, small-and-medium enterprises in East Africa. SOPHAR was started in 2008 by 58 local pharmacists under the Association of Pharmacists in Rwanda.

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