Home » South African pharma billionaire Stephen Saad’s Aspen closes $1.26-billion credit facility

South African pharma billionaire Stephen Saad’s Aspen closes $1.26-billion credit facility

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Stephen Saad

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings, a branded pharmaceutical company led by South African pharma billionaire businessman Stephen Saad, has closed a multicurrency credit facility agreement with international lenders totaling €1.26 billion ($1.264 billion).

Aspen disclosed in a press release issued from its office in Durban, South Africa, that the facilities were consolidated into a single facility agreement and that following the primary syndication, the transaction was significantly oversubscribed, providing the lenders with a significant scale-back.

While announcing the arrangement, Saad, Aspen Group’s CEO, stated that the company is pleased with the outcome of the syndication, especially given the current global risk-off sentiment.

“It is encouraging to see that all invited lenders have supported the transaction, which demonstrates their trust in the Aspen Group,” he added.

The group disclosed that the multicurrency, syndicated term loan, and revolving credit facilities agreement were arranged to refinance Aspen’s 2018 syndicated loan facilities, which were secured from 28 lenders from the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia.

It also stated that the credit facilities were structured as the term and revolving credit facilities in euros, rands, and Australian dollars, with tenors ranging from three to four years and additional extension options available.

Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited is a South African multinational pharmaceutical holding company founded 25 years ago by Saad. The billionaire businessman owns a 12.5-percent stake in the drug company worth $460 million.

At the end of its fiscal year in 2022, the group reported a 31-percent increase in headline earnings, the primary profit measure in South Africa, from R11.19 ($0.628) per share to R14.61 ($0.821) per share, owing to improved operating margins supported by a lower operating expense base and a strong balance sheet.

During the review period, Aspen signed a 10-year collaboration agreement with the Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. (the Serum Institute) to manufacture, market, and distribute four Aspen-branded routine vaccines in Africa.

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