Pharma tycoon Stephen Saad gains $38 million as Aspen moves to produce COVID-19 vaccines

South African billionaire Stephen Saad has recorded a R602.46-million ($38 million) boost in his net worth in a single day, as investors on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange continue to bet on the value prospect of his pharma firm’s deal with the U.S. drug behemoth, Johnson & Johnson (J&J).

Saad is a South African billionaire and pharma tycoon, who founded Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited, Africa’s largest drug manufacturer 24 years ago; the billionaire businessman holds a 12.5-percent stake in the drug company.

Earlier in December, Aspen signed a non-binding agreement with J&J that will see it become the first African drug company to manufacture and sell COVID-19 vaccines in Africa.

The non-binding agreement forms the basis for negotiating a definitive deal on the manufacture and sale of an Aspen-branded COVID-19 vaccine throughout Africa.

In reaction to the strategic partnership with J&J, investor buying interest caused Aspen’s stock price to surge to a record high of R242.9 ($15.29) on Dec. 1.

A new wave of buying activities spurred by investor speculation on Aspen’s financial performance in the mid to long term and the value prospect of its deal with J&J caused its shares to surge by 5.34 percent in today’s trading session.

This bullish pressure led the market capitalization of the leading drugmaker to soar above the R100-billion ($6.3 million) mark, as investors scrambled to acquire additional shares.

In reaction to the price surge, the market value of Saad’s 12.5-percent stake in Aspen increased from a valuation of R12.22 billion ($769.5 million) at the opening of the exchange on Dec. 17 to R12.87 billion ($810.62 million) as of the closing of the bourse.

The upward movement accrued a R602.46-million ($38 million) gain for the billionaire in less than 24 hours.

Mfonobong Nsehe
Mfonobong Nsehehttp://Billionaires.Africa
With over a decade of experience creating impactful narratives about Africa, Mfonobong Nsehe is one of the most recognized journalism and communications professionals on the continent. He is the editor-in-chief of Billionaires.Africa. A former Forbes Magazine contributor covering African wealth and entrepreneurship, Mfonobong conceptualized, initiated, and managed for a decade the Forbes annual ranking of Africa’s richest people. He was also the pioneer managing editor of Ventures Africa and built it into one of the continent’s most influential business news companies.

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