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Perfil (Sabado) - 2021-04-24

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MARCELO FIGUEIRAS + LABORATORIOS RICHMOND

BUENOS AIRES TIMES

Marcelo Figueiras, 57, is a businessman and accountancy graduate from University of Buenos Aires. He is also the president of Laboratorios Richmond, the firm that will manufacture ‘Sputnik VIDA’ in Argentina. In recent days, the national pharmaceutical company Figueiras leads, which has been in business for more than 85 years, has seen its shares soar. In fact, shares have soared ever since February 26, when it became known that Richmond would be producing the Sputnik V vaccine in Argentina. Earlier that month, President Alberto Fernández had visited the firm’s laboratory in Pilar in the framework of the announcement of an investment of US$80 million over five years into research and the expansion of its productive capacity. During the encounter, Figueiras thanked the Peronist leader for “all the work done” in the form of the national government’s measures during the pandemic. “We know that we can count on you and you can count on us,” asserted the businessman. Apart from owning the lab, Figueiras has business interests in insurance and banking, formerly owning shares in the bank Finansur, which he later sold to the tycoon Cristóbal López. He has also dabbled in the media, including holding shares in the newspaper Crítica, founded by the journalist Jorge Lanata. Born on November 16, 1963, in the city of Buenos Aires, Figueiras is a River Plate fan, keen on high-performance sports and a marathon runner. He is married to the Kirchnerite ex-senator María Laura Leguizamón, with whom he has one son. Figueiras also has six daughters. Richmond signed a memorandum of understanding with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which represents the Gamaleya Institute, to produce the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Argentina back in February. The lab, financed with Argentine capital, will develop a new vaccine plant in the country which contemplates, among other things, the vaccine against coronavirus. Hetero Labs Limited, an Indian company with whom Richmond has been allied for over 25 years, will also participate in the development of the vaccine. “As from the signature of this memorandum of understanding, we will start work immediately and will invest a sum of over US$60 million towards our objective that, within a year, the vaccines will be produced in Argentina,” affirmed the Richmond CEO. Laboratorios Richmond began to be quoted on the Stock Exchange in 2017, and from that moment on, commenced on an expansion plan which has continued despite the coronavirus pandemic, increasing its payroll by 10 percent over the last year. Of the company’s shares, 17.54 percent are quoted on the Bolsa while Figueiras holds 38.48 percent. The other proprietors are Richmond Busnel S.A. with 24.74 percent and Alberto Serventich with 19.24 percent. The company, which has branches in Colombia, Chile and Paraguay and is seeking to expand into Mexico and Brazil, invoiced 3.54 billion pesos in the first three quarters of 2020, up 17 percent from the previous year and, despite the pandemic, made a profit of 162 million pesos as against a loss of 67 million pesos for the first three quarters of 2019.

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