Ekuinas makes maiden pharma investment


Ekuinas chief executive officer Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir (pic) said their entry into the healthcare and pharmaceutical space was timely as it looked to capitalise on global megatrends and demographic shifts amid the emergence of Covid-19.

KUALA LUMPUR: Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) has made its maiden investment into the pharmaceutical industry with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Medispec (M) Sdn Bhd, based on an enterprise value of RM88.5mil.

The government-linked private equity fund management company said it was highly cognisant of the macro themes at play, which led to its entry into the industry.

In line with growing healthcare awareness amongst consumers, Ekuinas anticipated the post-pandemic world to see a significant shift from remedial to preventive healthcare measures.

Ekuinas chief executive officer Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir (pic) said their entry into the healthcare and pharmaceutical space was timely as it looked to capitalise on global megatrends and demographic shifts amid the emergence of Covid-19.

“Medispec is one of the leading distributors and marketers of healthcare and pharmaceutical products in Malaysia with a track record of over 35 years.

“It has established a strong supply chain and distribution network in the local market, driven by their deep industry knowledge and strong relationship with principals.

“We are happy to be part of the next phase of its journey, ” he said in a statement yesterday.

Syed Yasir Arafat added that apart from Medispec’s large established distribution network across clinics, pharmacies, private and public hospitals, other key considerations contributing to Ekuinas’ decision to invest in the company include favourable industry outlook, in-house brand with strong growth prospects and healthy product pipeline.

He stressed that these factors will be important in charting Medispec’s future growth plans. Medispec, which turns 35 this year, markets more than 100 pharmaceutical drugs and 30 health supplements under both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) categories. These include medical applications covering various therapeutic areas such as anti-infectives, antineoplastic, musculo-skeletal system, cardiovascular system and nervous system.

It also owns Vitamode, an award-winning in-house health supplement brand, which features specialty products such as CoQ10 Ubiquinol, Mecobin, Lacidofil, Cognipro and Tumecap.Medispec CEO Teng Beng Lee said the company was pleased to be part of Ekuinas’ portfolio and that he was confident in working with them to venture into the next phase of growth.

“Apart from growing our home-grown supplement brand Vitamode domestically, we are poised to take our brand regionally to Asean countries by leveraging Ekuinas’ expertise. “Learning from the pandemic, we will also be putting greater focus on online marketing channels to reach our consumers, ” he said.

Ekuinas has made investments in 42 companies since its inception in 2009 with a total committed investment of RM4.4bil. With that, it has also generated a positive impact on the broader Malaysian economy, which facilitated a total economic deployment of RM5bil, together with private sector partners.

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