Additional financing granted to Kenyan-Finnish drug maker
Extra financing granted to Kenyan-Finnish drug maker
Finnfund has granted 10 million US dollars of additional financing to Universal Corporation Ltd., to expand production and develop its operations towards quality certification by the World Health Organisation.
Additional financing of 10 million US dollars has been granted to Universal Corporation Ltd. (UCL). The company intends to expand production and develop its operations so as to obtain WHO quality certification. The additional loan will make Finnfund UCL’s main source of finance. At the same time, UCL will become Finnfund’s largest equity investment.
Established by a Finnish engineer, Pentti Keskitalo, and two Kenyan partners, the Dhanani brothers, Universal began operating at the turn of the millennium. Its products include off-patent generic drugs for treating AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Some 140 different pharmaceutical products are made in its production plant of 10 000 square meters. UCL is one of the largest and most advanced drug producers in sub-Saharan Africa, and is continuing to grow rapidly.
Major purchases have been made from Finland to develop the factory’s ventilation and water purification. UCL uses a waste water treatment system supplied by Galvatek of Finland, which minimises emissions. It is intended to serve as an example of environmental concern to other production plants in Kenya.
Fast export growth continuing
UCL aims to produce a greater number of more demanding drugs for the African market. It already exports its products to over ten countries.
Over the past couple of years it has also made some sales to public organizations and rapidly increased its exports. Many national officials have inspected its premises and approved its products for sale in their countries. UCL is becoming an important Kenyan exporter and foreign currency earner.
Quality pharmaceuticals for all
The company has already obtained European PIC/S certification*). Its main near-term goal is to be certified by the World Health Organisation, which make it one of the first African producers eligible to participate in international bidding to provide malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS drugs.
UCL products have been used to cure the diseases of hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of people. In Kenya and many other African countries, many pharmaceutical products on sale do not contain sufficient amount of active ingredients, while effective medications are often too expensive. UCL’s mission is to produce quality pharmaceuticals accessible to all.
For more information, contact Investment Manager Ari Nironen tel. +358 (9) 3484 3336, firstname.lastname@example.org
*) PIC/S (Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention & Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme) is an instrument of EU medicine agencies and publishes GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards and other recommendations.