Kyiv, January 31, 2013 – Europe Virgin Fund L.P. (‘EVF’), a private equity fund sponsored by Dragon Capital, has completed formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Ucrafarma S.A., a Spanish pharmaceutical company. The partners have united their forces in Lux PHARMA Participations SA, a Luxembourg-based holding company, with Ucrafarma transferring various pharmaceutical assets including its 95% stake in Sperco Ukraine LLC (‘Sperco’) and EVF providing development capital.
Established in 1997, Sperco is one of the top 10 pharmaceutical manufacturers in Ukraine, with a portfolio of 20 generic products. The company manufactures and markets lifestyle OTC and Rx pharmaceuticals in therapeutic areas such as cough and cold, women’s health, sedatives, pediatrics, dermatology and antibiotics. Sperco Ukraine is based in Vinnytsia, with a commercial hub in Kyiv. The company has over 300 employees.
The capital provided by EVF will be invested in completing reconstruction of the company’s manufacturing facilities in Vinnytsia in line with GMP standards, developing its product portfolio and expanding distribution network.
“We have been looking for an opportunity in the pharmaceutical sector where our investment could add value. Sperco has a solid portfolio of niche-leading products and a strong pipeline. Our capital will now enhance both the production and commercial sides of the business. Jointly with our Spanish partners, we have also strengthened the management. There is a lot of fresh wind and a great ambition to move Sperco Ukraine several notches up," said Kamil Goca, Managing Director, Head of Private Equity, Dragon Capital.
“We have had 15 years of stable organic growth at Sperco, yet sensed the need to give the company a new impulse in order to meet the challenges of Ukraine’s fast developing market. Europe Virgin Fund, backed by many reputable investors and Dragon Capital, with its strong local expertise and network, perfectly met our desire,” said Juan Perez Calot, Member of the Board of Directors, Ucrafarma.
“Sperco has always been a European company committed to the development of Ukraine through the investment into our factory in Vinnytsia. EVF’s investment is a great piece of news for our customers, business partners and employees. We will continue our mission to develop and distribute modern and efficient medicines at affordable prices. To this end, we plan to collaborate with both health professionals and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in creating a prevention culture among Ukrainian citizens,” said Jose Luis Colas, CEO, Lux PHARMA Group.
DLA Piper provided legal advice to EVF and Lynx Advisors jointly with Lupicinio Abogados served as legal counsels to Ucrafarma.
About Europe Virgin Fund
Europe Virgin Fund is a regional private equity fund sponsored by Dragon Capital, with $57 million of committed capital from Dragon Capital, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and other limited partners.
The Fund provides equity financing to selected private sector businesses with primary operations in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, in particular focusing on the fast-moving consumer goods, retail, industrial, telecom, media, technology, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and financial services sectors. The Fund’s portfolio includes controlling stakes in Ukraine’s largest manufacturer of tissue products – Lutsk-based VGP (TM ‘Ruta’) and Ukraine’s leading out-of-home advertising operator - Prime Group.
About Dragon Capital
Dragon Capital is Ukraine’s leading investment bank offering a comprehensive range of services in equities and fixed income sales, trading and research, investment banking, private equity and asset management to institutional, corporate and private clients. Established in 2000, the company is an independent partnership controlled by management, with a minority stake held by Goldman Sachs.
Dragon Capital accounts for the largest share of turnover on the Ukrainian stock market carrying out approximately a third of reported transactions. The company has completed more than 100 deals, including IPOs, private placements, M&A transactions and debt financings, since 2005, raising over $3.4 billion. Dragon’s asset management arm has approximately $0.5 billion under management.
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