By Raymond Baguma
Uganda’s anti-retro viral and anti-malarial drugs manufacturer Quality Chemical Industries is planning to sell shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE).
Emmanuel Katongole, the chief executive officer, on Saturday said they had hired the investment firm Renaissance Capital and Stanbic Bank, to prepare the company for a possible Initial Public Offer (IPO).
He said Renaissance Capital has valued the company at $250m, while a separate valuation by Stanbic places a $220m value to the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Katongole, however, provided no further details on timelines.
“Right now we are planning, and when the right time comes, we shall announce,” Katongole said at the sidelines of a professional leadership seminar for Rotary Uganda at Kati Kati Restaurant in Kampala.
The announcement is a major development for a company which began in Katwe, a Kampala suburb.
In 1995, the World Trade Organisation’s Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) were introduced, exempting low income countries from using patented pharmaceuticals in favour of affordable generic drugs.
This restricted India and China from manufacturing generic drugs in respect of patents. As a result, the Asian pharmaceuticals had to transfer technology to low income countries, leading to a partnership between Quality Chemical and Indian pharmaceutical giant Cipla – the world’s largest manufacturer of generic antiretroviral drugs.
This brought about the reduction of prices for first line antiretroviral drugs sold in low income countries today, including Uganda. Today, the Luzira-based pharmaceutical manufacturer stands on 12 acres, with a built-up area of seven acres.
The company’s value could further double ahead of the IPO with planned construction of a second plant to boost its production capacity of antimalarial and antiretroviral drugs to meet anticipated demand for drugs.
The expansion will also include an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients plant to extract and purify ingredients from locally sourced raw materials.