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Aptar to enter injectable device components with €165m buy

By Nick Taylor , 04-Jun-2012

AptarGroup is buying Stelmi for €165m ($205m) to expand into primary packaging components for injectable delivery devices.

Buying France-based Stelmi will move Aptar beyond its traditional focus on inhalers and pumps and, in theory, help it tap into demand for biologics delivery devices. Aptar has found growth in the sector limited by difficulties with formulating large molecules and it is now seeking alternative entry points.

Prefillable is one of our big interests in the acquisition”, Steve Hagge, and CEO of Aptar, said. Aptar also has a 20 per cent stake in a UK safety syringe start-up and by “putting all these different pieces together” Hagge thinks the company “has good growth potential” in and around the biotech sector.

In elastomer components Aptar faces tough competition though, with Stelmi trailing Daetwyler and West Pharmaceutical Services. In a call with Aptar executives to discuss the buy Ghansham Panjabi, equity analyst at RW Baird, said: “West has a pretty dominant franchise in elastomer gaskets.”

Despite this Aptar is confident the acquired unit can hit annual revenue growth rates approaching 10 per cent. To reach these targets Aptar intends to use its global footprint and business contacts to add new clients for Stelmi which, as a family owned business, has only built a limited overseas presence.

Aptar has pharmaceutical facilities in seven countries, spanning Europe, the Americas, and Asia, and it will look to use these sites for some final assembly work to support growth of Stelmi. Hagge also said Aptar will try to apply its assembly expertise to improve practices at Stelmi production plants.

While Aptar sees some gains in using its skills to improve Stelmi plants, the acquisition offers few cost saving opportunities. Hagge said the sites run by Stelmi in France are modern and there are no near-term plans to close facilities.

Aptar expects the deal to close in the third quarter.

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