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Apax’s Marken dealmaker quits calling the investment a ‘tough one’

By Gareth Macdonald , 03-Oct-2012
Last updated on 05-Oct-2012 at 12:12 GMT

The Mann who bought Marken for investment group Apax Partners has stepped down, describing the deal for the logistics contractor as one of the ‘tough ones’.

France-based buyout group Apax bought a stake in Marken from Intermediate Capital Group for an undisclosed sum in 2010 with Khawar Mann driving the deal and taking a seat on the clinical logistics firm’s board of directors.

At the time he said: “Marken is a world leader in providing clinical logistics services to the biopharma industry and its top quality offering means that it is poised for substantial growth as the industry continues the process of globalisation.”

Since then the situation has changed. According to a Reuters report  the investment Apax made in Marken in 2010 has decreased in value in the years since.

Mann told the newswire that his decision to step down was voluntary, adding that while he had a run of successful investments at Apax – citing Apollo Hospitals, Capio and Unilabs as examples - the acquisition of Marken had been one of the ‘tough ones.’

Apax did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Restructuring and expansion

The Apax departure comes as Marken continues its efforts to restructure operations and – according to CEO Wes Wheeler – “transform from a premium courier to a full service supply chain services company.”

This process – which began in February – has seen Marken work on its trial logistics offering. Earlier this year the firm set up what it calls CorTec – a group combining Marken execs and industry experts tasked with developing new solutions for clinical trial cold-chain supply challenges.

Marken also expanded its geographic reach by opening new clinical trial supply depots at sites around the world – form Latin America to Singapore, India and China .  

Evidently this expansion process is ongoing as- just yesterday – Marken announced it has been granted a 12-year license to ship biological samples and drug products within China. The firm also said it has started work on Phase II of its depot roll out plan by beginning construction of a unit near Beijing airport.

CEO Wes Wheeler said “We recognize the value of the clinical trial market in Asia and what economic impact the region has for many of our pharmaceutical clients. China, Korea and Japan are now clearly in focus for Marken and we will continue to analyze and anticipate new opportunities, both within China as well as other parts of Asia and the world as a whole.”

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