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Grupo Casa Saba is a limited liability stock corporation with variable capital. The company is structured as a holding company and thus its ability to pay dividends, repay its debt and finance operations is wholly dependent on the cash flows provided by its subsidiary companies. The company has no assets but the stock of its subsidiaries. The subsidiaries may control the ability of SAB to pay dividends or repay the debt. Contractual legal obligations subsidiaries may have may limit their ability to provide for the holding company. Growth strategy has involved expanding through the pharmacy business – specifically the growth of the subsidiary Farmacias ABC from 40 to 150 pharmacies in the 2007-2008 period and the acquisition of Drogasmil which has 104 pharmacies in operation. The company is also expanding into new lines of business like Controladora de Clínicas Ambulatorias y de Rehabilitación, S.A. de C.V. – a company specializing two full-service clinics for short-term patients. 
The Ley General de Sociedades Mercantiles in Mexico requires companies to set aside 5% of their net income until a reserve worth 20% of the capital stock is reached. Only until then is a company allowed to pay out dividend or set aside cash for special reserves. Grupo Casa Saba only holds 17.3 of its capital stock as reserves to date and is thus incapable of paying out dividends. 
The company’s majority stake is controlled by a single shareholder. With 85% of the outstanding stocks under one control the majority shareholder has the right to elect the majority of the Board of Directors, determine the outcome of every shareholder vote – including those that determine dividend payout in cash or otherwise.
Mexico has been plagued, like many other countries in the current economic climate, by political and social instability, changes in the rate of economic growth, exchange rate fluctuations, rising Mexican inflation(6.5% in 2008), changes in Mexican taxations (the most recent change including a flat tax for companies) and changes and amendments to Mexican law.
The Brazilian Reais has devalued frequently in the last 40 years. The Brazilian government has implemented various economic plans and programs as well as exchange rate policies. Significant fluctuations have been seen including 22.3% depreciation in 2001, and 31.9% in 2008.
Performance of pharmaceutical companies has been extremely dependent on government imposed controls. Pharmaceutical prices are all subject to government approval and as a result companies involved in their distribution and/or sales are unable to raise prices accordingly with inflation. In 1990 deregulation of these pricing policies has begun but there is no assurance that this trend will continue.
In their pharmaceutical business the company faces competition from the only other national pharmaceutical distributor –Nacional de Drogas S.A. de C.V.-and several small, regional distributors.
In the Health, Beauty Aids, Consumer Goods, General Merchandise and Other Products business division the company competes with a wide array of manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors.
The retail pharmacy market is extremely fragmented in both Brazil and Mexico. In Mexico competition comes from large pharmacy chains, chief among them Farmacias Guadalajara, Farmacias Benavides, and Farmacias del Ahorro and supercenter chains like Wal-Mart (WMT) In Brazil competition comes from Drogaria Sao Paolo, Pague Menos and Drogasil. Profitability lies in the ability to establish a loyal base of repeat customers.
In publications Grupo Casa Saba majors competitors included Intermex – a Grupo Televisa S.A. (TV) subsidiary, Codyplirsa – a national distributor of popular magazines, and DIMSA – an English publication distributor.