Since listing on Nasdaq Stockholm in 2014, Recipharm has looked to acquisitions for growth, inking deals to buy some or all of Kemwell, Mitim and Nitin Lifesciences and acquire facilities from Roche and Sanofi.
Now, Recipharm is making a big move, putting together a £505m ($652m) deal to acquire Consort, a UK-based contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) that owns Aesica and Bespak.
By adding Consort’s SEK 4bn ($413m) in annual sales to its current turnover of SEK 7bn, Recipharm expects to leapfrog two of its rivals to become the fourth biggest CDMO globally, although it will still be notably smaller than the market leaders.
Scale is one motivation for the deal. Recipharm has made consolidation of the CDMO industry one of its strategic objectives in the belief that biopharma customers want to work with fewer suppliers and that it needs to continually add to its capabilities to win and retain business.
That belief is supported by the messages coming out of the biopharma industry. Last year, Tim Kent, VP of business development, global supply at Pfizer, said his company would rather work with 10 service providers than the “300-400 contract manufacturing partners” it had at the time.
In acquiring Consort, Recipharm will add 10 facilities across the UK, Germany and Italy to its existing footprint.
The Consort takeover will also expand Recipharm’s capabilities. While Aesica’s capacity for active pharmaceutical ingredient production, formulation development and finished dose manufacturing will slot in alongside Recipharm’s existing capabilities in those areas, Bespak will move the Swedish CDMO into new territory.
Recipharm acquired inhaled commercial drug product manufacturing capacity in its deal with Sanofi, adding to its existing development capabilities in the area. Even so, the acquisition of Bespak will be a significant step up in its drug delivery device development and manufacturing capabilities, notably because it will add the capacity to make products such as auto-injectors.
After closing the deal, which is expected to happen in the first quarter of next year, Recipharm thinks it will be able to offer inhalation services from early development up to commercialization at a scale beyond its current capabilities. Recipharm plans to use its inroads into early development to advise customers to choose either off-the-shelf Bespak devices or use its devices on demand service.
Recipharm reset its financial targets in conjunction with the unveiling of the deal. With the Consort takeover set to blast Recipharm past its SEK 8bn sales target, the CDMO is now targeting a compound annual growth rate of 11% or more.