The JSE-listed AfroCentric Group is on an upward trajectory as it continues to expand its comprehensive portfolio

AfroCentric Investment Corporation Limited is an investment holding company that is substantially invested in healthcare. The company was established in 2008 and is listed under the healthcare sector on the JSE.

Through its operating subsidiaries, AfroCentric provides health administration and health risk-management solutions to the healthcare funding industry. In addition, AfroCentric provides a range of complementary services to its traditional medical scheme clients, as well as a portfolio of healthcare-related enterprises. These services include IT solutions, transactional switching and specialised disease management.

In 2015, as part of its growth trajectory, AfroCentric acquired a 100% interest in Pharmacy Direct, a courier pharmacy; 100% of Curasana, a pharmaceutical wholesaler; and a 26% stake in Activo Health, a Southern African distributor of generic medicines as well as complementary nutraceutical products.

These acquisitions continue to improve the group’s earnings, providing greater access to the wider healthcare delivery value chain and greater visibility in the relevant markets.

In the same year, Sanlam acquired a 28.7% stake in ACT Healthcare Assets, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the AfroCentric group. This strategic alliance with one of the country’s foremost financial institutions will enhance the group’s marketing and distribution initiatives, and position certain divisions within the group on an improved growth path.

Growth and diversification outside SA has always been a strategic imperative. Medscheme has a presence in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mauritius.

AfroCentric seeks to invest in related businesses that demonstrate prospects for growth, while contributing to the sustainable health and welfare of SA communities. Medscheme is the group’s largest subsidiary and one of SA’s biggest medical scheme administrators and managed care providers. Founded approximately four decades ago, Medscheme has approximately 3.6 million lives under management through its 15 client medical schemes in the country.

Medscheme has a national footprint of 20 offices in all the major centres in SA, employing more than 3 000 staff.

In striving to achieve its vision of ‘facilitating the delivery of sustainable healthcare services’ AfroCentric continues to provide the healthcare sector with practical strategies for expanding the membership of its medical scheme clients, some of the group’s other entities assist in promoting efficient and effective patient care and treatment management. These subsidiaries include:

  • Facilitating efficient management of healthcare services through Helios IT Solutions
  • Transactional and clinical data switching through Allegra (51% subsidiary)
  • HIV disease-management solutions through Aid for Aids Management Services
  • Acquiring the regional licence for the DBC back and neck rehabilitation programme through Klinikka.

AfroCentric group CEO Antoine van Buuren points out that the group’s efforts to diversify revenue streams beyond health administration are starting to yield positive results. ‘AfroCentric group subsidiary, Pharmacy Direct, continues to make impressive progress – this business has secured further contracts to deliver chronic medication to patients and is now operating in seven of the nine provinces in the country. As a group, we expect the consolidation of the health sector to continue, and we are confident that our value proposition and experience will assist the group to play a role in amalgamation projects. We also intend to expand our existing healthcare enterprises, and to make acquisitions within the sector to broaden our role in the healthcare sector,’ he says.

With the prevalence of fraud in the healthcare sector, AfroCentric has also launched the Insurance Fraud Manager (IFM) programme. The software, acquired from FICO, is proving to be a game changer by identifying fraud, detecting waste and abuse in all administered schemes. ‘Through IFM, we intend to help clients reduce fraud losses and grow revenues by making ourselves a preferred administrator,’ says Van Buuren.

AfroCentric is the most transformed listed entity in the healthcare sector of the JSE. The group is chaired by Dr Anna Mokgokong, who is a recipient of the SA Lifetime Award 2015 and was recently appointed as an honorary ambassador to Iceland.

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