In a bid to guarantee access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), French Proparco, German DEG and U.S. DFC have partnered with Aspen Pharmacare, providing it with $711 million (€600 million) to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
According to theafricareport, the consortium hopes to help Africa avoid continued hoarding of COVID-19 vaccines by developed countries.
The funds will refinance the debt that the South African drug manufacturer has accumulated in recent months as a result of its investments in the fight against COVID-19.
Leading the consortium is the IFC, which committed €200 million ($237.4 million) in equity, and Proparco, which contributed €156 million ($185 million). The German development institution DEG will contribute €144 million ($171 million). Lastly, the DFC, a U.S. development institution, will provide €100 million ($119 million).
“Through this consortium, we are allocating resources for Aspen in the quickest way possible so that they can reinvest in local production lines,” IFC Director General Makhtar Diop said.
Aspen is Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company. It stated that it will produce at least 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022. The company has partnered with the U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson to prepare, finish, fill and package the company’s COVID-19 vaccine. The operation will take place at its new sterile injectables facility in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).
Aspen Pharmacare is a global specialty and branded multinational pharmaceutical company, with an operational presence in emerging and developed markets.
Saad is the founder and CEO. As the company’s leading individual shareholder, he owns 12.5 percent of the company’s shares. His stake in Aspen, which accounts for 57,151,972 issued ordinary shares, was valued at $693 million (R9.5 billion) in early June.