Recordati is buying a 90% stake in Opalia Pharma of Tunisia in a deal valued at 80 million dinar, or around 37 million euros.
Opalia, which is headquartered in Ariana, a suburb of Tunis, was established in 1988 and ranks eighth in the Tunisian pharmaceutical market. It is the third largest local drugmaker and markets branded generic drugs, specialising in dermatology, gastrointestinal and respiratory products.
The company employs 322 people and sales this year are estimated to reach 18.5 million euros. The Italian group's chief executive Giovanni Recordati said the acquisition "is another step forward in our strategy to increase our business in the emerging markets". He added that Recordati is already generating "significant and growing revenue from its export sales in the North African countries".
Mr Recordati concluded by saying that the acquisition "represents a strategic platform to establish a direct presence in this area with the objective of extending coverage also to countries in Central Africa and in the Gulf states".