Our History

A long-established and proven track record

The origins of the Acino – which was named “Schweizerhall” until 2008 – date back to 1836 when the company was founded around a saltworks operation near Basel, Switzerland. Subsequently, the company widened its activities to become both a manufacturer and trader and enlarged its portfolio with value added products including chemical specialties such as feeding stuffs, fertilizers and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

In 1994, the company went public on the Swiss stock exchange (SIX: ACIN) and gradually streamlined its business to focus on chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. The subsequent years saw a focusing of the company’s activities on advanced drug delivery with the acquisition of Cimex Pharma AG, a Swiss supplier of complex solid oral dosage forms, in 2004, and of Novosis AG, Europe’s second largest manufacturer of transdermal patches and of biodegradable implants, in 2006.

Our focus on emerging markets has since seen the acquisition of leading phramaceutical manufacturing and commercial organisations, including in South Africa.

  • 1992

    The Biovac cc started

  • 1998

    Biovac Holdings sold 40% stake to Litha Investment Group

  • 2003

    Biovac Consortium awarded contract with SA goverment in forming a PPP The Biovac Institute

  • 2006

    Litha Investments purchase extra 11% of Biovac Holdings

    Name Changes to Litha Health Care Holdings (LHH)

  • 2008

    Change of the group and subsidiaries name to Acino

  • 2009

    Completed funding and planning for Biovac vaccine manufacturing site CT

  • 2010

    Litha Healthcare Group Lists on JSE

  • 2011

    Acquisition of combined Middle East and African Business of Cephalon Acquisition of Mepha’s production and R&D facilities and the business in MEA, LATAM and Asia. Commercialization of products under the brand “Acino Switzerland”

    International NDB signed with Cpoint Capital Inc.

    Biovac extends FSA with DOH to 2016

    LHG acquires Goldex Healthcare and OTC Pharma SA

  • 2012

    LHG purchases 100% of Pharmaplan for R590 m and merges business with Litha Pharma Division

    Paladin Labs Inc. acquires 44.5% of LHG

  • 2013

    Takeover by Avista Capital and Nordic Capital

    Endo International plc, offers to acquired Paladin Labs Inc.

  • 2014

    Acino is delisted from the stock exchange

    Acquisition of Copharm in Russia

    Endo International plc, completes acquisition pf Paladin Labs Inc. effectively owning 65% of Litha Healthcare Group Limited

    Endo and LHG announce intent to acquire balance of Litha shares

  • 2015

    Acquisition of PharmaStart in Ukraine

    Endo International plc, completes 100% acquisition of Litha Healthcare Group Limited. Litha delists from JSE

    Litha Healthcare Group changes to (Pty) Ltd.

    Litha announces divestment of medical and vaccine business

    Endo completes acquisition of Aspen product portfolio


  • 2016

    Move of the Headquarters to Zurich and start of a substantial re-organization in Switzerland

    In–licensing agreement for the combination painkiller Maxigesic of AFT

    Acquisition of MENA operations and product rights of Norgine B.V.

    Aquisition of Takeda’s manufacturing plant in Põlva, Estonia

    Divestment of Acino’s transdermal and implant business to Luye Pharma Ltd.

  • 2017

    Litha Healthcare Group (Pty) Ltd. Acquired by Acino from Endo international.

  • 2019

    Acino opens new offices in Turkey and Egypt

  • 2020

    Acino completes acquisition with Takeda for primary care portfolio in key emerging markets

    Acino receives EU GMP certification in Ukraine

    Acino attains B-BBEE certification in South Africa

  • 2021

    Acino completes acquisition of portfolio of prescription pharmaceutical products and food supplements from IlmixGroup group in Russia

    Acino attains Level 1 B-BBEE status in South Africa for the second year in a row

    Acino and Pharmax collaborate to align with UAE’s strategy to become a regional pharmaceutical manufacturing hub

    Merz Therapeutics and Acino sign distribution agreement in Ukraine, CIS and Mongolia

    Abu Dhabi based ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors, signs agreement to acquire Acino

    Acino acquires selected Aspen brands in South Africa

  • 2022

    ADQ completes acquisition of Acino

    Acino acquires selected Aspen prescription medicines in South Africa

    The story continues