Sopharma Trading to expand faster via acquisitions in Bulgaria and Serbia



Bulgarian drug distributor Sopharma Trading (SO5 BU) scheduled an extraordinary shareholders meeting for 24th April 2017 to approve new debt financing from various banks for a total of approx.. BGN 54m to be used for acquisitions in Bulgaria and Serbia, according to a regulatory filing.

The loans in plan of Sopharma Trading

EUR 12 mln. loan from Raiffeisenbank Bulgaria will be used for acquisition of drug distributor in Serbia. The loan is planned for 81 months and 1М EURIBOR + 1,7% interest rate.

BGN 16 mln. loan from Societe Generale Expressbank will be used acquisitions in Bulgaria to grow its SOpharmacy chain faster. The loan is for 78 months with a fixed 1,8% annual interest rate.

Sopharma Trading operates 16 pharmacies in Bulgaria under the SOpharmacy brand. The expansion plan is to acquire existing developed pharmacies to join the chain. Growing the local chain quickly will ensure economy of scale and optimization of costs.

The third loan amounts at BGN 14 mln. from DSK for 12 months at interest rate of 1M Sofibor + 1,65% and is planned for working capital.

Acquisition in Bulgaria has already been agreed

On 16 March 2017 Sopharma Trading announced that the company has reached an agreement and arrangement for the acquisition of PharmaStore pharmacies operations, with the intention of subsequently integrating them in the SOpharmacy store network.

The Company statement said: “For more than ten years now Sopharma Trading Jsc. has been a leader on the pharmaceutical market due to the strategy of market and regional diversification. In line with that, in 2015 the company launched a new retail operations for delivery of healthcare services through the pharmacy concept under the brand SOpharmacy, where an innovative approach in meeting health needs of patients was introduced. The opening of five new pharmacies is in the pipeline by mid-2017.”

Current SOpharmacy stores are at 16 locations in Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas and Kyustendil.

PharmaStore Group – to be acquired

PharmaStore Group, too, has been operating on the local pharmacy market for 12 years. It has 19 pharmacies in Sofia and Bourgas. Sopharma Trading statement explained that “the Group is a recognized health services supplier, for its loyalty and commitment to high professional standards. The Group has launched a number of innovations in the retail pharmacy sector related to medicinal and other products with significance to human health”.

The acquisition is subject to the prior approval by the Commission for Protection of Competition.

About Sopharma Trading

Sopharma Trading is the biggest pharmaceutical wholesaler in Bulgaria trading will all type of medical products, medical equipment, cosmetics, and food additives as well as offering hospital equipping solutions. It holds 23% market share on the local market. Sopharma Trading is part of the Sopharma Group (3JR BU).

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