BioVac - Pfizer (IFC-46582)

  • Africa
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
  • South Africa
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Specific Location
Cape Town
Whenever identified, the area within countries where the impacts of the investment may be experienced. Exact locations of projects may not be identified fully or at all in project documents. Please review updated project documents and community-led assessments.
Financial Institutions
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Oct 15, 2023
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
The Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Education and Health
  • Industry and Trade
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
Equity, Loan
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 25.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Loan Amount (USD)
$ 17.50 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ IFC website

Updated in EWS Aug 7, 2023

Disclosed by Bank Aug 2, 2023

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

As stated on the project disclosure page, the proposed IFC investment seeks to support, the Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa (BioVac), a South African biopharmaceutical company based in Cape Town, to expand its suite of products which includes partnering with Pfizer-BioNTech through a tech transfer agreement for fill and finish manufacturing of vaccines on the continent thus helping reduce Africa’s over dependence on imported vaccines.

The Company is planning to expand their operations through a 2-part project the first of which involves manufacturing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (fill and finish only) and IFC will finance this via a $7 million loan. The second component includes construction of new multi-vaccine facility. IFC will provide $500k funding to support the bankable feasibility study for this facility (~130 million doses annually) and provide $7.5 million in equity (~12.5% stake) and a $10 million loan to support the actual development.
The main facility at BioVac consists of 6 buildings spanning some 5,500 m2 in total surface area. A new building has been constructed (building E) to house the “freezer farm” as required for the storage of vaccines. In addition, a 50-tonne capacity liquid nitrogen tank has been installed.          

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.
Private Actors Description
A Private Actor is a non-governmental body or entity that is the borrower or client of a development project, which can include corporations, private equity and banks. This describes the private actors and their roles in relation to the project, when private actor information is disclosed or has been further researched.

As stated by the IFC, BioVac is 47.5%-owned by two South African government agencies, namely the Technology Innovation Agency (‘TIA’) with 12.5% and the Department of Science and Innovation (‘DSI’) with 35%. The balance of BioVac’s 52.5% is held by a BioVac Consortium (Pty) Limited which consisting of private investors, who amongst others includes Dr Makhoana Morena.

Private Actor 1 Private Actor 1 Role Private Actor 1 Sector Relation Private Actor 2 Private Actor 2 Role Private Actor 2 Sector
- - - - The Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa Pty Ltd (BioVac) Client Education and Health

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

General IFC Inquiries - IFC Communications:

Address: 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20433
Telephone: +1 202-473-3800
Fax: +1 202-974-4384

Client - The Biologicals and Vaccines Institute of Southern Africa (Pty) Limited:

Craig Mitchell - CFO
Phone: +27 21 514 5000
Address: 15 Alexandra Road, Pinelands, 7405, South Africa


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