M&A strategy paying off for AMRI; more API acqs to come

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/macgyverhh
Image: iStock/macgyverhh

Related tags Pharmaceutical drug

Controlled substances and peptides are on AMRI’s wish list as it profits from a growth strategy which has seen six acquisitions over the past two years.

The contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) reported its full year 2015 results yesterday with revenues from its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) sector at $205m (€184m), up 40% year-on-year.

AMRI attributed $41m of this growth to Spanish contractor Gadea Pharmaceutical Group, which it bought last July for $174m, adding complex steroidal APIs to its ingredient business, and CEO William Marth said the acquisition reflected his firm’s continuing ambition to grow into a billion dollar company.

 “If we reflect on the last 24 months, what have we achieved? We’ve completed six acquisitions deploying roughly $440 million of capital,”​ he said during a call discussing results. “As a result, we have significantly expanded our capabilities in API and drug product, including a platform of niche API and end-to-end parenteral capability.”

Along with Gadea, AMRI’s API business has been bolstered through 2014’s addition of Cedarburg Pharmaceuticals​, and a tech transfer deal last year with opium-derived API maker Saneca Pharmaceuticals​.

But Marth told investors his firm was eying up further capabilities, and more acquisitions in the API space are likely.

“Acquisitions are part of our story and we’re continuing to look at them at this point in time,”​ he said. “We’d be happy in API to add to some of our capabilities within sterile [and] we’d like to add to some of our capabilities within controlled substance.”

He continued, adding the firm still lacks peptide and protein capabilities and while this is a “very expensive market right now,” ​it is on AMRI’s wish list.

Other acquisitions

Other recent acquisitions have seen the firm add chemical testing services through Whitehouse Laboratories​, aseptic manufacturing assets from Aptuit​, and commercial manufacturing through Oso Biopharmaceuticals.

“There are still plenty of targets available, and I think the asset valuations are beginning to fall in line with where the market is today… I think the important part for us is nothing’s changed on the strategy, acquisition part of the strategy, that’s where we want to go,”​ said Marth.

“It has to fit our strategy and if it fits our strategy, and there is a way we can get to do the deal in a sensible manner, we will do it… That said, we won’t do anything silly.”

Total revenues across all business sectors were $402m, up 45% on 2014, though the firm took an overall loss of $2.3m for the year.

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