Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical

China’s Fosun Pharma to buy French drug distributor Tridem in overseas expansion push

The ambitious Chinese pharmaceutical company has been expanding its overseas presence in recent years, and the deal could give it access to the French company’s sales network in Africa

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 3:37pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 11:14pm

Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group, one of China’s top drug companies, will buy all the shares in French drug distributor Tridem for 63 million euros (US$73 million), as it continues its aggressive expansion into overseas markets.

Through the acquisition of Tridem, which has a presence in 21 French-speaking African countries and regions, Fosun Pharma could tap into the promising continent with the help of Tridem’s “mature sales network and upstream and downstream resources”, the company said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Sunday.

A subsidiary of China’s Fosun Group, which is led by billionaire Guo Guangchang, Fosun Pharma has in recent years been accelerating its push into overseas markets, including Europe, Africa, the US and India.

“Fosun Pharma has a reasonable product line-up and is making a continuing push to release new products,” wrote analyst Xu Jiaxi at Industrial Securities in a recent note. “Its continuing overseas acquisitions will contribute to the company’s profits.”

Fosun Pharmaceutical wants to be the Xiaomi of China’s drug industry

Fosun Pharma is scheduled to release its earnings results for the third quarter on Monday evening. Its net revenue could reach 4.2 billion yuan (US$631.88 million) for the period, a 4.5 per cent decrease from 4.4 billion yuan in the second quarter, according to a consensus of analysts’ estimates collected by Bloomberg.

The company has a market capitalisation of HK$116.8 billion (US$14.97 billion). Its main competitors are state-owned Shanghai Pharma and Sinopharma, of which Fosun Pharma itself owns 49 per cent.

The company’s Artesun, an anti-malaria medication manufactured by its subsidiary Guilin Pharma in China’s southern Guangxi province, is widely used in African countries, with major buyers being global charities such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, founded by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

Fosun Pharma’s CEO, Wu Yifang, has previously said that the company would seek to acquire the most cutting edge technology using funding from venture capitalists and seed funds.

Its first such acquisition was Israeli cosmetic laser manufacturer Alma Lasers, bought in 2013. Two years later it bought American biotech company Ambrx along with other Chinese investors. Then in October this year it completed the purchase of a 74 per cent stake in Indian pharmaceutical company Gland Pharma, after cutting the size of the deal to bypass the regulatory hurdles posed by Indian authorities.

China’s Fosun Pharma to bypass India’s regulatory hurdles after cutting stake in Gland Pharma deal

Established in 1986 and based in the southwestern French town of Escalquens, Tridem Pharma is the third-largest drug distributor in French-speaking African countries.