Exclusive: Creador-backed Malaysian retailer RedCap merges with BIG Pharmacy

Photo: BIG Pharmacy's Facebook page

Malaysian retail pharmacy chain RedCap Pharmacy, owned by private equity firm Creador, has merged with local pharma retailer BIG Pharmacy, this portal has learnt.

The merger is said to have been completed in January this year. The combined entity is now being rebranded as “BIG Pharmacy” and has a total of 34 outlets located in Klang Valley and Johor.

Creador founder and chief executive Brahmal Vasudevan confirmed the deal to DEALSTREETASIA and said the PE firm now has a “significant minority position in the combined entity”. He, however, did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

When asked about post-merger consolidation and growth plans for the combined entity, he said, “We hope to grow organically. As a combined business, we have a larger footprint and the ability to invest.”

Formerly known as D’Apotic Pharmacy, RedCap was acquired by Creador in May 2015 from its three pharmacist founders. The PE firm re-launched the pharmacy with a new management team and rebranding in 2016.

It had then revealed that it had invested about $24.53 million (MYR100 million) in the Malaysian firm. The funding was to cover RedCap’s first phase of growth over about two years. Creador had indicated then that it will consider investing more capital in the chain for expansion, within the period, should the need arise.

When asked about utilization of the infused capital, Vasudevan noted, “We folded in excess cash to support the growth of the company.”

Established in 1998, RedCap says it has aggressive plans to expand its footprint nationwide offering its customers convenience, quality service and extensive product knowledge in a fresh modern customer-friendly retail environment.

Established in 2007, BIG Pharmacy, a relatively smaller player, is a privately held Malaysian chain that started out as L&L Healthcare Supply Sdn Bhd. It was founded by Lee Meng Chuan and Lim Sin Yin, both of whom studied as pharmacists. It now operates 13 stores in and around Klang Valley, with the latest store opening at Seremban in 2017.

There has been no formal announcement from Creador, RedCap or BIG Pharmacy about the merger. However, a quick look at RedCap’s website says, “Now re-branded to BIG Pharmacy”.

For Creador, RedCap is its third portfolio company in the healthcare space, with the other two based in India — pharmaceuticals company Corona Remedies and hospital chain Paras Healthcare.

Last week, Creador invested $43.8 million in Vietnam’s largest mobile device and consumer electronics retailer, Mobile World. Other recent investments include India’s publicly-listed Ujjivan Financial Services Ltd, the holding company of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, in which the PE firm picked up a 5 per cent stake in November last year.

According to media reports, Creador is further planning to launch a new $500-600 million fourth fund this year primarily focused on India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Its previous fund was closed at $415 million in December 2016. The private equity firm, based out of Malaysia, Mauritius, India and Indonesia, has raised $130-million and $331-million funds in the past.

Also Read:

PE firm Creador hits final close of Fund III, raises $415m

Creador invests $43.8m in Vietnam’s Mobile World

PE firm Creador invests $33m in India’s Ujjivan Financial for 5% stake

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.