* Louw resigns with immediate effect
* Latest resignation after Bidvest became top shareholder
(Adds analyst comment)
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG, April 1 South Africa's Adcock
Ingram said on Tuesday its chief executive officer has
resigned, a widely expected move after the drugmaker's biggest
shareholder signalled it wanted a leadership change.
Jonathan Louw, who had been at helm since 2008, will step
down with immediate effect, Adcock said in a statement.
Louw is the latest top Adcock official to depart after the
firm's biggest shareholder, Bidvest Group, helped oust
Chairman Khotso Mokhele in February.
Bidvest earlier this year increased its stake in South
Africa's No.2 drugmaker to over a third to block a $1.21 billion
Chilean takeover offer for Adcock.
Bidvest has since been pushing through changes, with its
Chief Executive Officer Brian Joffe replacing Mokhele as
chairman of the struggling firm.
Joffe has an established track record of buying poorly
performing companies and turning them around by improving cash
flow, capital allocation and returns.
Hit by an over-reliance on the heavily regulated local
market and poor distribution networks, Adcock has been dwarfed
by its closest domestic rival Aspen Pharmacare, which
has made an aggressive push into overseas markets.
Adcock said two weeks ago its quarterly profit was under
"extreme pressure" as debt-laden consumers cut back on self
medication and the weaker rand pushed up imported raw materials.
Bidvest has publicly criticised Adcock management for the
company's poor performance since being spun-off from consumer
foods maker Tiger Brands and separately floated in the
But one analyst said outgoing Louw had not done all that bad
since taking over because he inherited a company with aging
factories and poor distribution facilities.
"I do not think Jonathan Louw did a bad job. I think that he
was dealt a bad hand in terms of the state of the business that
Adcock was in after its unbundling out of Tiger Brands," said
Jean Pierre Verster of 360ne Asset Management.
"But it is clear that the relationship between Jonathan Louw
and the board, specifically Brian Joffe, is probably fractious."
(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Dolan and