BIO invests in vaccine production in Africa

BIO invests in vaccine production in Africa

Through European Financing Partners - a joint venture between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and several European DFIs - the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) is investing EUR 1.56 million in the production of covid and other vaccines in Africa.

BIO’s investment is part of a financing package totalling US 600 million, arranged by IFC, DEG, Proparco and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), for Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited, a leading pharmaceutical company in South Africa that is playing a major role in producing covid-19 treatment therapies and vaccines on the African continent.

BIO invests in vaccine production in Africa

If we really want to defeat the covid-19 pandemic, we must pursue longer-term solutions.

Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities

The long-term financing package, which is subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions precedent, is mobilised by IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, and is the largest healthcare investment and mobilization IFC has led globally to date.

The announcement of this financing package for Aspen comes as governments across Africa have called on the international community to bolster the continent’s vaccine supply chain to respond to covid-19 and promote longer-term health sector resilience.

“If we really want to defeat the covid-19 pandemic, we must pursue longer-term solutions. This investment in strengthening the local manufacturing of vaccines in South Africa is an important step forward to increase the accessibility of vaccines worldwide. Because none of us will be safe until everyone is safe,” says Meryame Kitir, Minister of Development Cooperation and Major Cities.

The financing will help Aspen, Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company, to refinance existing debt and strengthen the company’s balance sheet, supporting Aspen’s operations, including production of vaccines, and other therapies in African and emerging markets. By investing in Aspen, BIO and the other development finance institutions also have the objective of helping to facilitate an increase in vaccine manufacturing know-how and knowledge sharing within Africa.

BIO invests in vaccine production in Africa

BIO is proud to contribute to the joint effort of the Development Finance Institutions to enhance Africa’s self-reliance for the production of vaccines.

Luuk Zonneveld, BIO CEO

Aspen is expanding its role in fighting the covid-19 pandemic in Africa. It recently built a fully certified sterile injectables facility at its existing site at Gqeberha (formally known as Port Elizabeth), South Africa. With this new facility, Aspen was able to offer Janssens (a Johnson & Johnson company) filling, finishing and packaging capacity for its covid-19 vaccine, with the first batches having already been manufactured.

“Although international efforts to increase the availability of vaccines to the African population should reduce the suffering and deaths from covid-19 on the continent, having its own large-scale vaccine production facilities is key to keep pandemics in check without having to depend on the kindness of others. BIO is proud to contribute to the joint effort of the Development Finance Institutions to enhance Africa’s self-reliance for the production of vaccines.” says Luuk Zonneveld, BIO’s CEO. “With our investment, we are responding to the call of Belgian’s Minister for Development Cooperation Ms. Meryame Kitir to strengthen Africa’s autonomous vaccine production.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to access this funding package arranged by IFC. Aspen’s teams are working tirelessly to optimize production of the Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccine for Africa at our manufacturing site in Gqeberha, South Africa. We are actively seeking opportunities to further extend and capacitate covid-19 vaccine manufacturing at this world class production facility. Aspen is seeking to play a meaningful role in contributing to the objective of delivering the majority of Africa’s needs from production sites located in Africa,” said Stephen Saad, Aspen’s Group Chief Executive.

About Aspen

Headquartered in Durban, South Africa, Aspen is a leading global specialty and branded multinational pharmaceutical company in both emerging and developed markets. Aspen improves the health of patients in more than 150 countries through its high quality, affordable and effective medicines. The Group’s key business segments are Manufacturing and Commercial Pharmaceuticals (comprising Regional Brands and Sterile Focus Brands). Aspen employs approximately 9 800 people and has 70 established business operations in over 50 countries. The Group operates 23 manufacturing facilities across 15 sites and holds international manufacturing approvals from some of the most stringent global regulatory agencies. Its manufacturing capabilities are scalable to demand and cover a wide variety of product-types including steriles, oral solid dose, liquids, semi-solids, biologicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

For more information visit www.aspenpharma.com.

About EFP

European Financing Partners (EFP), a joint venture between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and several European DFIs, is a co-financing vehicle established in 2003 aiming at promoting sustainable development of the private sector and strengthening co-operation between eligible European Development Finance Institutions and the EIB. The EFP provides financing to countries included in the OECD DAC list.

For more information, visit www.edfi.eu/facility/efp

About DEG

For almost 60 years DEG has been a reliable partner to private-sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. We provide our customers with tailor-made solutions, including financing, promotional programmes and advice tailored to individual needs. They can thus develop successfully and sustainably, while generating local added value and creating qualified jobs. With our portfolio of around EUR 8.5 billion in approximately 80 countries we're one of the world's largest private-sector development financiers.

For more information, visit www.deginvest.de

About IFC

IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested USD 22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.

For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About DFC

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America's development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights. The United States is working with the private sector and all possible partners to expand global vaccine manufacturing and distribution targeting investments in multiple regions of the world both to address short-term crisis response requirements as well as intermediate-term efforts to ensure better global preparedness for future health challenges.

For more information, visit www.dfc.gov

About BIO

BIO is a Development Finance Institution that supports private sector growth in developing countries. BIO provides long-term financing to enterprises, financial institutions, and private infrastructure projects, as well as grants for feasibility studies and technical assistance programmes. BIO operates as an additional partner to financial institutions and aims to maximise both development impact and return on investment. BIO is a member of EDFI (European Development Finance Institutions) and has more than EUR 1 billion of assets under management.

For more information

Ben Jehaes
Manager External Relations
ben.jehaes@bio-invest.be
+32 495 54 78 40

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European Financing Partners S.A.

  • Debt € 15,000,000.00 (2020)
    Asia, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia

  • Debt € 5,000,000.00 (2010)
    Asia, India, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia

  • Equity € 6,000.00 (2003)
    Asia, India, Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia

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