Gerresheimer has taken out a new loan to refinance four years ahead for schedule, citing the favourable financial climate as the key driver.
The firm, which produces a wide range of packaging for the pharma and cosmetic industries, has taken out €150m and set up a revolving credit facility of €250m to repay a €450m bank loan that had been due to mature in 2012/13.
Gerresheimer will also be redeeming a €126m high yield bond prior to maturity. In addition, it plans to issue a new corporate bond in the first six months of 2011 and has €200mi in a medium term loan available until the new corporate bond is issued.
Spokesman Jens Kuerten told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “We decided not to wait so long but to safeguard our long-term financial security now. The market environment is positive these days and the rating agencies have lately upgraded our rating.
Kuerten went on to explain that, in addition to repaying existing loans, some of the proceeds will be used as part of the firm’s growth strategy in the pharmaceutical packaging sector.
“[Our strategy] consists of organic as well as inorganic growth in the Western markets and the emerging countries. For the emerging countries we want to double our sales from EUR 100 million to EUR 200 million until 2013.”
He added that, while Western markets are still the biggest, growth rates are higher elsewhere, citing Brazil, China, India and Russia, which are the focus of the firm’s expansion strategy, as examples of those with the best potential.
This was echoed by Company CFO Jurgen Wiecha in a press statement, who said: “The new financing structure provides us with a lot more flexibility.
“We want to achieve further profitable growth, so our focus remains on extending our market position as a successful partner to the pharma industry in both the western world and increasingly in emerging markets.”
Last week another major player in the pharmaceutical sector, US contract research organisation (CRO) Quintiles , also took out a credit facility citing favourable market conditions as a key factor.