Advent International and Avista Capital Partners have signed an agreement to acquire Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals, a specialty generic pharmaceuticals company and a subsidiary of biopharmaceuticals company UCB, SA for $1.52 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.
Kremers Urban Pharmaceuticals is a specialty generic drug manufacturer and specializes in developing generic versions of pharmaceutical products that are either difficult to formulate or utilize specialized delivery technologies. Over the past seven years, Kremers Urban has diversified and grown its product portfolio from one major product to more than 20 marketed products across a number of indications, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, angina/hypertension and respiratory disease. The company is headquartered in Princeton, NJ and has a 400,000-square-foot pharmaceutical manufacturing plant 60 miles south of Indianapolis in Seymour, IN (www.kremersurban.com).
The seller of Kremers Urban, UCB (Euronext: UCB), is a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Brussels. UCB had revenues in 2013 of €3.4 billion and employs 8,500 people in approximately 40 countries (www.ucb.com).
As part of the transaction, Brian Markison, currently a healthcare Industry Executive at Avista, will become President and Chief Executive Officer of Kremers Urban, succeeding George Stevenson, who is pursuing other interests. “Kremers Urban is an important player in a dynamic sector with numerous growth opportunities,” said Mr. Markison. “I’m looking forward to leading the team and, in partnership with Advent and Avista, driving enhancements throughout the organization to ensure the company meets its strategic objectives as an independent company.”
Mr. Markison has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals sector, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer of Fougera Pharmaceuticals, a dermatology-focused specialty pharmaceuticals company that was spun off from Nycomed A/S in 2011 and sold to Sandoz, the generics division of Novartis, in July 2012. Before his time at Fougera, Mr. Markison was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of King Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining King, Mr. Markison held various senior leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
“Kremers Urban is a strong, specialty player in a rapidly growing and changing global generics industry, and we believe it will thrive as an independent entity as the adoption of generics continues to rise worldwide,” said John Maldonado, a Managing Director at Advent International. “We are excited to partner with Avista and the Kremers Urban leadership team to position the company for continued long-term growth.”
Advent International focuses on international buyouts, strategic restructuring opportunities and growth buyouts in five core sectors: business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. Advent has invested in more than 30 healthcare companies worldwide over the past 25 years, with pharmaceuticals as a key sub-sector focus. The acquisition of Kremers Urban will be the firm’s fourth pharmaceutical investment in the past three years. Advent has offices in 16 countries and employs 170 investment professionals across Western and Central Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Boston, Advent has $34 billion in assets under management and has completed more than 290 buyout and private equity transactions (www.adventinternational.com).
“The Kremers Urban team has a long track record of success, and we are excited to be a part of its bright future as an independent company,” said Sriram Venkataraman, a Partner at Avista. “We are delighted to continue working with Brian Markison as well as the Advent team to drive growth at KU both organically and through additional acquisitions.”
Avista Capital Partners, with over $6 billion of capital under management, makes control or influential minority investments in growth-oriented energy, healthcare, communications & media, industrials, and consumer businesses. Avista has acquired or invested in 24 companies across the healthcare industry, with several notable transactions in the pharmaceutical sector, including Acino Pharma, Fougera Pharmaceuticals, Lantheus Medical Imaging, Nycomed and Vertical/Trigen. The firm was founded in 2005 and is based in New York with offices in Houston and London (www.avistacap.com).
Financing for the transaction is being provided by Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and Jefferies.
2014 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-7-14