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Benchmark International Successfully Facilitated the Transaction between EFRC Holdings (Pty) Ltd and The Africa Food Security LP (AFS LP) managed by Zebu Investment Partners

Benchmark International is pleased to announce the transaction between EFRC Holdings (Pty) Ltd (including its wholly owned subsidiaries Elgin Free Range Chickens (Pty) Ltd, Elgin Poultry Abattoir (Pty) Ltd and EFRC Agri Operations (Pty) Ltd) and The Africa Food Security LP (AFS LP) managed by Zebu Investment Partners.


Animal Health and M&A

The animal pharmaceutical market isn’t as heavily regulated as human pharmaceuticals, and as a result, is a more attractive industry. Traditionally the market was dominated by divisions of large pharma companies. However, this has changed over the last few years. The sector has seen significant changes following Pfizer’s 2013 spin-off of its animal health business, now known as Zoetis. This helped inspire the spin-off of Eli Lilley’s animal health business and then later in the year, Bayer announced it would leave the industry.

Because of these changes, we have seen substantial consolidation in the animal health space, with the number of transactions in the industry more than doubling since Pfizer’s spin-off in 2013 to 2018 – and due to the number of deals already completed this year, we expect another increase in deal volume.

Furthermore, the global animal health market was valued at $45B last year, and industry experts expect to see a compound annual growth rate of 5% leading to 2026. The market is being driven by a rise in food-borne diseases, and as result companies are making more of an effort to control these diseases. Furthermore, this prevalence has led to businesses producing more advanced vaccines and pharmaceuticals.

Additionally, the market is being driven by a significant increase in pet ownership - with pet owners over the last few years spending more than ever. The number of companion animals increases with income levels and the percentage of smaller families. This is a result of pet owners, particularly millennials humanising their pets, and becoming more willing to invest heavily in their pet's health and well-being.

Key Industry Trends

·     Better Surveillance of Disease: Through portable devices and technologies, such as smartphone/tablet apps and ‘smart ear tags.’

·     Emphasis on Animal Welfare: Owners are putting more emphasis on both pets and livestock to maintain health and quality of life. 

·     Public and Private Collaboration: Recent prevention of the bluetongue and Schmallenberg diseases in animals are prime examples of collaboration between the two sectors.

·     More Treatments Available: The range of treatments has increased over recent years, with a range of treatments for even minor species, such as fish.

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