ACON Investments L.L.C. and its affiliates (“ACON“), announced today that ACON Latin America Opportunities Fund V, L.P. (the “Fund“) in partnership with some of its Limited Partners as co-investors, completed, on May 27, 2021, the acquisitions of the companies that form the Vitalis Group (“Vitalis“) a leading manufacturer and wholesaler of generic injectable pharmaceuticals with production facilities in Colombia and Mexico, with sales to more than 20 countries, mainly in Latin America. Vitalis is representative of ACON’s Latin American investment strategy over the last three decades where it is now investing its fifth fund for the region.
ACON believes that Vitalis offers a unique platform to grow and cross-sell its more than 700 pharmaceutical products to multiple countries across Latin America. Vitalis’ products comprise over 150 molecules in multiple therapeutic areas including antibiotics, anesthetics, analgesics, and gastrointestinal.
The Limited Partners of the Fund that invested in Vitalis as co-investors include DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (“DEG“), Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (“FMO“) and Société de Promotion et de Participation pour la Coopération Économique S.A. (“Proparco“).
“Vitalis further bolsters ACON’s strategy of investing in medium-sized businesses across a range of industries which hold important competitive positions and have significant exposure to hard-currency export markets. Furthermore, this transaction builds on ACON’s experience in the pharmaceutical industry in the US and Latin America,” commented Alberto Hernandez, Partner of ACON.
As part of the transaction, ACON recruited Esteban Lizarazo as CEO of Vitalis. Mr. Lizarazo has held several senior management positions in the healthcare industry in Colombia including CEO of Grupo Amarey, a large distributor of pharmaceuticals and medical devices to the institutional sector in Colombia.
Mr. Lizarazo commented, “Under the direction of Vitalis’ founder and former CEO, Vitalis established itself as a reliable manufacturer of quality generic injectable pharmaceuticals in Colombia and Mexico and constructed the building blocks of a pan-regional distribution and sales network. I am excited to join Vitalis and lead its next phase of growth across the region and beyond.”
José Miguel Knoell, Managing Partner of ACON, noted, “ACON’s acquisition of Vitalis demonstrates ACON’s ability to source and negotiate attractive investments in businesses operating across Latin America by leveraging our decades long experience and investment teams across the region.” Mr. Knoell, added, “The Vitalis transaction represents the first investment made from ACON’s fifth pool of capital for Latin America, ACON Latin America Opportunities Fund V, L.P.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Brigard & Urrutia S.A.S. advised Vitalis’ shareholders while Grant Thornton LLP, Winston & Strawn LLP, Gómez-Pinzón Abogados S.A.S., and Mijares, Angoitia, Cortés y Fuentes, S.C. advised ACON.