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Press Release from 2021-10-14 / DEG

DEG finances South African COVID-19 vaccine maker

EUR 144 million loan arranged for Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited

Currently, Africa manufactures only about one percent of the vaccines that is needed on the continent. Funding totalling EUR 144 million, arranged by DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH has been extended to South African pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare Holdings Limited (Aspen). The loan is part of a EUR 600 million financing package, mobilised by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Other investors include Proparco from France and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).

Part of a financing package mobilised by IFC

In addition to DEG, the funds arranged by DEG come from the Austrian development bank OeEB and European Financing Partners S.A., which includes several bilateral European DFIs. The DFIs involved in this financing for Aspen are BIO, Finnfund, FMO, IFU, Norfund, Sifem and Swedfund.

Headquartered in Durban, South Africa, Aspen is a specialty and branded pharmaceutical company. It is active in over 50 countries worldwide, operating 23 manufacturing facilities across 15 sites. The Group employs approximately 9,000 people. Aspen has invested in a fully certified sterile injectables facility at its existing site at Gqeberha (formally known as Port Elizabeth) to produce its anaesthetics portfolio and other sterile medicines, including vaccines.

Joint forces to address medical care in Africa

“It is essential to join forces to address medical care in Africa. This is why we are pleased to cooperate with Aspen together with our development finance partner institutions. With Aspen, we are supporting a company that is playing a major role in producing COVID-19 treatment therapies and vaccines on our neighbouring continent,” said Monika Beck, Member of DEG’s Management Board.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to access this funding package,” added Stephen Saad, Aspen’s Group Chief Executive. “Our teams are working tirelessly to optimise production of the COVID-19 vaccine for Africa. We are actively seeking opportunities to contribute to the objective in meeting most of Africa’s vaccination needs from production sites located in Africa”.

In keeping with its mandate as a development finance provider, DEG is also committed to improving the provision of medical care in partner countries. To this end, DEG is financing, among other things, companies that produce medical technology or medicines.

You can learn more about our activities related to corona here:

COVID-19: Information for our customers and business partners


DEG Press Office

Anja Strautz


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