Uganda – XSML makes investment in Ecopharm

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XSML has announced its third investment via the African Rivers Fund in Ecopharm Uganda to finance further expansion of its outlets as well as acquire a pharmaceutical wholesaler.

Jarl Heijstee, Managing Partner at XSML, said: “We partnered with Ecopharm, one of the leading pharmacy chains in Uganda, over a year ago. With this new financing we are opening up the first privately managed pharmacy outlet at a public hospital in Uganda. This unique partnership is a win-win as Ecopharm brings affordable medicines closer to the patients and patients have access at affordable medicines at the hospital at which they are treated.”

Ecopharm was founded in 2008 by Idd Iwumbwe, who is a qualified pharmacist with over 19 years’ experience in running chain pharmacy businesses.

The wholesaler has a network of 12 pharmacies in Kampala, through which it provides branded pharmaceuticals, branded generic medicines as well as locally produced pharmaceuticals.

In addition, Ecopharm sells over-the-counter medicines and personal care products.

Ecopharm’s pharmacies are strategically located on major roads in Kampala to enable easy access.

Ecopharm targets the broad population of Uganda and distinguishes itself through quality, a broad range of products and personal service from a resident pharmacist at each outlet.

The new financing will be used to open a new pharmacy at Mulago public hospital, the largest referral hospital in the country.

In addition to this new outlet, Ecopharm is expanding in the pharmaceutical wholesale business by acquiring its sister company, Boots Pharmaceuticals, which is active in the wholesale of selective branded generic pharmaceuticals in Uganda.

Ecopharm has exclusive import arrangements with a number of European branded generic pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Idd Iwumbwe, CEO of Ecopharm, said: “With the financing from XSML we have been able to accelerate our growth and capture this unique opportunity to start a pharmacy at Mulago hospital.”

“As this new pharmacy is located close to the cancer and cardiology department,  we are making sure that we stock the relevant, particular types of pharmaceuticals, which are hard to find in Uganda. Ecopharm works closely with the doctors at Mulago to ensure we provide the right type of medicines but also the right type of advice to have the best patient treatment.”

The African Rivers Fund targets growing, well-managed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Central & East African region covering Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Republic of Congo as well as – over time – Burundi. Source: Africa Global Funds

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