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Adcock Ingram CEO Louw Says He’s Looking for Acquisitions in West Africa

Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd. (AIP), Africa’s largest over-the-counter drug manufacturer, is seeking acquisitions in West Africa to take advantage of economic growth in the region, Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Louw said.

“After our success in Ghana, we are looking at Nigeria and other West African countries,” Louw said today in an interview in Johannesburg, where the company is based. Adcock bought a controlling stake in Accra-based Ayrton Drug Manufacturing Ltd. (AYRTN) last year.

Adcock has a team in Nigeria looking for purchases, Louw said. The country’s economy will grow an average of 11.7 percent a year until 2015, National Planning Minister Shamsudeen Usman said yesterday, according to South Africa’s The Times newspaper.

The company’s stock jumped as much as 2.5 percent to 61.60 rand, the highest price in three weeks, and was up 0.8 percent at 10:11 a.m. in Johannesburg.

With cash equivalents of 1.1 billion rand ($157 million), Adcock has enough money to realize its ambitions, Louw said, though the company hasn’t yet found specific targets.

Adcock’s net income fell to 353.4 million rand in the first half through March, from 393.7 million rand a year earlier, the company reported today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sikonathi Mantshantsha in Johannesburg at smantshantsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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