Bloomberg News

May & Baker of Nigeria Targets Drug Exports to African Countries

July 13, 2011

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- May & Baker of Nigeria Plc, the nation’s second-biggest pharmaceuticals maker by market value, plans to start exports to western and central Africa before the end of this year, Chief Executive Officer Nnamdi Okafor said.

“Our current production capacity is beyond the Nigerian market, so we have to make our first major exports to any of the countries of target this year,” Okafor said in an interview in Lagos yesterday. “The products planned for exports are antiretroviral, malaria and tuberculosis drugs.”

May & Baker completed a 4 billion-naira ($26 million) plant expansion in June, boosting its capacity for solid drug production fourfold and more than doubling that for liquid drugs, Okafor said.

The company expects annual revenue to exceed 9 billion naira by the end of 2012 as the new plant attains full production, he said.

“We made a turnover of 4.6 billion naira in 2010 through December and expect a modest rise this year until 2012 when a significant jump in revenue is projected,” Okafor said.

The company has applied to regulatory authorities in target countries and the World Health Organization to pre-qualify its products.

“WHO officials will arrive at May & Baker on Aug. 1 to inspect our facilities and later offer technical assistance in manpower, equipment and processes necessary to get our products pre-qualified globally,” Okafor said.

May & Baker is the oldest pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, according to its website. It started trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in November 1994, and investors in 2002 bought out international partners represented by French company Aventis SA. GlaxoSmithKline Nigeria is the country’s biggest drug company by market value.

--With assistance from Dulue Mbachu in Lagos. Editors: Ana Monteiro, Emily Bowers

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To contact the reporter on this story: Emele Onu in Lagos at eonu1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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