Kampala-based drug maker CIPLA – Quality Chemicals Industries (CIPLA-QCI) plans to list on the Uganda Securities Exchange in the next four months, ending a six-year initial public offering drought at the Kampala bourse.
The company had initially toyed with placing its IPO on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, but settled on Kampala because the Ugandan shilling is its primary trading currency and listing in Nairobi could have added unnecessary complications to its accounting.
The drugs manufacturing firm is a joint venture between Cipla Ltd of India, which currently holds majority stake of 62.3 per cent, and Quality Chemicals Uganda Ltd.
According to the latest company transaction brief, Cipla’s shareholding will drop to 51 per cent after the initial public offering (IPO) but the Indian drug giant will retain majority shares in the company.
Telecommunications giant MTN Uganda is also exploring ways to give Ugandans a share of its business, but it is said to be still working on the best model for domestic ownership.
This news is welcome for executives of Uganda’s Capital Markets Authority, who have not seen an IPO since the listing by power distributor Umeme in 2012.
According to a 2007 published report, it was the only company in Africa that manufactured triple-combination antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. CQCI also manufactures the antimalarial drug Lumartem, containing artemisinin and lumefantrine, and the hepatitis B generic medicines Texavir and Zentair.
Today, antiretroviral drugs accounted for 52 per cent of the company’s total sales revenues in 2016 while anti-malaria drugs contributed roughly 48 per cent to overall sales. Hepatitis B drugs accounted for less than one per cent of total sales in the same period.