Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Indies Pharma IPO hunting $387m

Published:Sunday | July 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMSteven Jackson
Dr Guna Muppuri, president and CEO of Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited.

Montego Bay-based pharmaceutical company Indies Pharma Jamaica Limited plans to raise $387 million in its initial public offering of shares on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, amid plans to expand regionally.

"In the future, the company intends to deepen its distribution network in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean through strategic acquisitions, and the diversification of product offerings inclusive of personal care, and products for the agricultural market," stated the prospectus, which did not go into further details.

Indies Pharma, headed by Dr Guna Muppuri, is a pharmaceutical distributor, but it also owns Trident Pharmacy in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay.

The company said it plans to position itself as a 'one stop shop' for pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and consumer and hygiene products.

The IPO - priced at $1.50 per share - opens July 12 and closes on July 19. Muppuri, who is co-founder, president and CEO of Indies Pharma, was not reached for comment.

"The proceeds of the shares for subscription approximately $248.4 million will then accrue to the company, and the proceeds of the sale of shares approximately $138.8 million will accrue to the selling shareholder," the prospectus stated. The selling shareholder referenced is co-founder and chief operating officer, Vishnu Muppuri.

Guna Muppuri's holding will remain at 590.9 million shares after the IPO, while his wife, Vishnu, will reduce her holding from 428.7 million to 336.1 million shares.

The IPO will allow Indies Pharma to raise funds for working capital needs and for continued expansion. GK Capital Management will act as the arranger and lead broker to the IPO, while Sagicor Investments Jamaica has been engaged as co-broker.

Indies Pharma was incorporated in December 2003. In 2005, the company started selling products and now distributes more than 150 pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products under the Bioprist brand. The company, which employs a staff of over 64, introduces 20 drugs per year, on average.

At half year ending April 2018, the company's sales revenue totalled $301 million, up 10 per cent year on year, while net profit rose nearly six per cent to $72.5 million. The company's net value stood at $320 million at year ending October 2017.

Indies Pharma estimates that it holds a 2.5 per cent share of Jamaica's estimated US$250 million to US$300 million pharmaceutical market.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com