Sun set on buying NextPharma and expanding it through acquisitions

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

NextPharma Technologies will be bought by Sun European Partners, the European adviser to US investment group Sun Capital Partners, in a deal announced late yesterday.

Sun did not respond to’s request for additional information ahead of publication but VP Matthias Gundlach said in a press statement that there is significant potential to grow NextPharma’s business organically and through acquisitions.

NextPharma CEO Bill Wedlake echoed these thoughts, telling that Sun's investment will enable the UK-based contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) to make strategic "add-on" acquisitions "which is something we haven't been able to do with our previous investors.​"

He went on to predict that such strategic purchases are "almost certainly" going to happen in a two to three years, adding that whether these acquisitions are Big Pharma divestitures or other types company remains to be seen.

Wedlake also said acquisition by Sun will support NextPharma's manufacturing expansion programme, including its ongoing effort to add non-cytotoxic sterile vial filling capability and double cytotoxic filling capacity at its facility in Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium.

The deal will also support NextPharma's plans to add new capabilities, according to Wedlake, who cited the acquisition of new technologies for pre-filled syringe production and processing as examples of likely investments..

Wedlake also said that while there are no current plans to change NextPharma's management, there are always opportunities supplement the team on a targeted basis.

Pharma investments

Sun Capital’s investment portfolio covers a wide range of sectors, from chemical manufacturers for the food and cosmetics industries to retail pharmacies, groceries and clothes suppliers.

The fund made an early pharma-relevant investment in 2005 when it acquired a stake in Sonneborn, a US-based supplier of white oils, petrolatums, waxes, and other hydrocarbon products to the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care sectors.

More recently its Emerald Performance Materials affiliate acquired DSM Special Products (DSP) from Dutch giant DSM.

Rotterdam-headquarted DSP, which was bought buy Emerald last December, uses toluene oxidation to create sodium benzoate and benzoic acid under the Purox brand, which it supplies to the pharma, food and household products sectors.

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