Share price: R50,37 JSE code: AIP
SELL BOB DYLAN’S “TANGLED UP IN BLUE” springs to mind when considering Adcock. The pharmaceutical group has spent much time in a tangle, often of its own making, and could remain so until relatively new CE Kevin Wakeford finds a way out. Don’t expect that to happen soon.
Many Adcock products are household names. Yet it has not managed to capitalise on them. Instead the focus has been turned inwards on the company itself. Delisting in 2000, relisting eight years later, and turning down a fairly generous R52/share offer from Bidvest’s Brian Joffe — that was wasted time that could have been better spent getting the full commercial value of their products.
Attempts to become more global have failed, expensively. In late August Adcock announced it would sell its loss-making unit in India, Cosme Farma Laboratories. The announcement drove the share price up by 6% to R50,50. Adcock bought the business for R822m in 2013. Since then it has taken two write-downs: R278m, then R74,4m.
The value of the over-the-counter products comes through clearly in results for the year to end-June, where turnover of R1,45bn for these products is up 16,6% on the previous year. Turnover of R1,81bn for prescription medication, on the other hand, is down 2,6%.
Maybe the potential will come through later. But until then, investors don’t want this share.