Lonza confirms interest in Capsugel takeover

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

istock/Kritchanut
istock/Kritchanut

Related tags: Kohlberg kravis roberts, Initial public offering, Henry kravis, Lonza

Lonza has confirmed it is interested in buying Capsugel. 

The Swiss life sciences supplier issued a statement​ today in response to speculation over the weekend.

Lonza said it “notes the recent press speculations that it is in final negotiations with KKR regarding the potential acquisition of Capsugel.

"Lonza confirms that it has expressed a strong interest in this successful company as it would fit perfectly with Lonza’s Healthcare Continuum strategy and strengthen its position as leading supplier to a number of important healthcare markets​.”

Lonza declined to comment further when contacted by in-Pharmatechnologist.com

Background

Pfizer sold Capsugel - a manufacturer of hard gel capsules - to US investment group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) for $2.4bn in 2011​.

Under KKR’s ownership Capsugel has built on its core capsule business through investment and acquisitions.

Capsugel bought Xcelience last December in a deal that expanded the dosage form solutions business it launched in February 2013​.

The Xcelience acquisition, like that of Powdersize that it bought at the same time, are part of the strategy Capsugel has followed since it entered the dosage form solutions space.

In March 2013 Capsugel acquired Encap​. The following October​ it bought Bend Research.

Speculation

In April Reuters​ reported last week that Capsugel is "preparing to explore a sale or an initial public offering (IPO)​" suggesting that Danaher, 3M, Becton-Dickinson, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bayer and Catalent.

Speculation about a takeover resurfaced yesterday with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Lonza is close to buying the New Jersey, US based capsule maker for more than $5bn.

Reaction

One pharma financier we spoke with said Lonza buying Capsugel would make sense.

He said: "Lonza is the 900 lb gorilla of the Pharma CDMO market and Capsugel is the top banana in capsule manufacturing. Over past few years, capsule makers and CDMO seem to be coming together as the guys who make the capsules and the guys who fill those capsules are merging.

"Patheon bought Banner Pharmacaps while Capsugel itself bought three Contract development/manufacturing businesses in past 3 years - Bend Research, Xcelience and Powdersize​" he said, adding "this is the inevitable continuation of the trend​."

Follow @inPharmaTechno​ on twitter for up to the minute pharma industry news.

Related topics: Suppliers, Supplements, Financial plays

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