Ghanaian health tech startup, mPharma has signed an agreement with Nigeria’s leading pharmacy brand, HealthPlus to acquire a majority stake in the latter.
Speaking on the development in a statement, the CEO and Co-founder, Gregory Rockson said the move is in line with the company’s mission to build an Africa that is in good health by delivering life-changing healthcare services and drugs to improve health outcomes for patients.
Though he didn’t disclose details about the worth of the deal, Rockson noted that the acquisition of the HealthPlus Pharmacy chain complements the technology-driven healthcare company’s deep commitment to increasing patient access to affordable and quality healthcare in Nigeria.
“mPharma is deepening its long-standing commitment to Africa by reimagining primary healthcare in some of the most vulnerable communities on the continent. We continue to transform community pharmacies into primary care centers to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all patients so they can live not just longer but healthier lives. We are optimistic about the future of healthcare for Nigerians through the acquisition of HealthPlus.”– Gregory Rockson.
A statement by the company indicated that powered by mPharma’s proprietary Bloom software, HealthPlus will provide patients access to affordable primary care services within its pharmacies, in addition to affordable and quality medications it currently retails across 12 states in Nigeria.
Commenting on the acquisition, Afsane Jetha, Co-founder and CEO at Alta Semper Capital, believes that mPharma is the ideal steward for HealthPlus’ next chapter of growth.
“We believe mPharma’s vision is consistent with that of HealthPlus’s shareholders and employees, and we are enthusiastic to support the business through a relationship with mPharma going forward,” she said.
Expansion opportunities for mPharma
The acquisition will provide expansion opportunities for mPharma within Nigeria and a platform to expand mPharma’s multi-pharmacy retail footprint across the continent through its fast-growing QualityRx program as well as strengthen HealthPlus as Nigeria’s leading pharmacy brand.
As part of the deal, the HealthPlus pharmacy chain will also launch Mutti, mPharma’s health membership program, which will provide both existing and new customers with discounts, interest-free “heal-now-pay-later” plans, free health screenings, and other primary care services.
This kind of partnership, rooted in the expansion of services and attaining wider reach, isn’t new in the ecosystem.
In 2021, Helium Health, a Nigeria-based health tech startup acquired Meddy, a Qatar-headquartered and UAE-based doctor booking platform for an undisclosed amount. Two years earlier, Nigeria’s leading e-payments giant Interswitch made its way into the health tech scene after it acquired a majority stake in a healthcare technology company, eClat.
In April 2018, HealthPlus, founded by Bukky George, secured an $18 million investment from London-based private equity manager, Alta Semper Capital.
In 2020, mPharma raised $17 million in a round led by the CDC Group.
The round was backed by existing investors such as Dr Daniel Vasella, ex-CEO and Chairman of pharmaceutical giant, Novartis; Silicon valley investor, Jim Breyer; and Dompe Holdings. The funding was accompanied by the appointment of Helena Foulkes to the board.
The round came after the company’s Series B round of $12 million in 2019, and $6.6 million Series A in 2017. Following the raise, mPharma acquired Kenya’s second-largest pharmacy chain, Haltons for less than $5 million.
In a chat with Technext in 2021, Gregory disclosed that the company, operational in 5 African countries, serves over 100,000 patients monthly and has distributed over a million drugs to Africans from 300 partner pharmacies across the continent.
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