The culture and the manner in which Vifor Pharma and Galenica Santé have been built make them unique companies.
“As Chairman of the Galenica Group for the last 20 years, I would like to thank the thousands of individuals who, for every day they dedicated to Galenica, believed it was their privilege to work for the greatest company there is.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of our employees who have given everything for our shareholders...
On Tuesday,1 December 2015, a new chapter in the story of Galenica began, which I am convinced will be even more exciting than the one we have written up until now. The recipe for success is quite simple. First, a brief look back at our history.
Just 20 years ago, on 27 June 1995 in Gerzensee (canton of Bern), the Board of Directors entrusted us with the management of the Galenica Group, a small national wholesaler which was owned by and dedicated to the work of Swiss pharmacists.
What started out as a small team gradually grew to create a Group with a unique strategy. The value of this Group rose from CHF 250 million to more than CHF 10 billion (value on 31 December 2015) – the best performance witnessed on the Swiss stock market in the last 20 years – creating an entirely novel and unique company which has grown every year without exception by an average of 23 %.
profit growth before deduction of minority interests
cumulative growth in the share price from 1995 (start of the transformation strategy) to 2015
If this company had belonged to the extended family of those who designed and created it, its story would not have ended on Tuesday 1 December 2015, as it represents such an extraordinary diversity of stability and growth, not to mention entrepreneurial spirit. A perfect example, in my opinion, of a family business. However, with a value of around CHF 10 billion, Galenica has become one of the “blue chips” of the Swiss Stock Exchange and one of the largest companies in Switzerland, and therefore unaffordable for a family, even a very wealthy one. Galenica is now owned by shareholders who placed their trust in us, and to whom I am grateful. In their view, understandably and quite naturally, Galenica represents one investment among many, falling into a specific category such as Pharma (or Specialty Pharma), Retail, Logistics, or Consumer Health and Beauty products.
In order to maintain the interest and appeal of the Galenica Group to its owners in future, we have adapted the management of the business, and with input from the best Swiss and international specialists, we have realigned our strategies, objectives and priorities. On the strength of this exercise, we reached the conclusion at the end of 2015 that two companies, Galenica Santé and Vifor Pharma, could be created from the Galenica Group and listed individually on the stock exchange.
In principle, these two companies will be ready for this step by the fourth quarter of 2016. There are still some important tasks to take care of, but we are nevertheless confident of being able to do so within this timescale, provided the global market does not experience a major crisis that would delay the deadline. From today’s perspective, only a strong price drop or unforeseen events could delay the date of the division. The two companies will be an attractive proposition for shareholders, but also for their other partners and in particular for their employees.
The future will depend on the ability of the two new directors to manage this outstanding legacy and take on the specific challenges that await them. If there is one thing they should abide by, it is to do what’s best for Galenica Santé and for Vifor Pharma, as these two companies are fundamentally different from any other. Their culture and the manner in which they have been constructed make them unique. By following this recommendation, a bright future is assured.
As Chairman of the Galenica Group for the last 20 years, I would like to thank the thousands of individuals who, for every day they dedicated to Galenica, believed it was their privilege to work for the greatest company there is. At the end of 2016, I will hand over the keys to Vifor Pharma and Galenica Santé to two teams that I am convinced have all the assets and skills required to be successful. By doing what is best for the company, and only for the company, they cannot go wrong.