French processing and synthesis specialist Groupe Novasep is heading to the sun with the acquisition of Bahamas-based ingredients and intermediates firm PharmaChem Technologies.
The deal will provide Novasep with a manufacturing hub closer to its US customers, to complement its existing production assets over in Europe.
Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed, though a Novasep spokesperson did refer to the deal as a "big acquisition," and noted that PharmaChem is a substantial company that will help provide access to the North American market.
PharmaChem specialises in the production of bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and registered intermediates, and Novasep will now be the new owner of the company's two multipurpose plants on the 62-acre site in the Bahamas.
Combined, the two plants have a potential reactor volume in excess of 400,000 litres, are good manufacturing practice (GMP) compliant and have successfully completed a number of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspections.
Although the site is four decades old, it has been the subject of continuous investment to ensure the facilities are up to scratch and still has spare capacity to be exploited. The facility was previously owned by Roche, and used to produce hundreds of tons of naproxen, the active ingredient in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Naprosyn.
PharmaChem also currently manufactures the active ingredient for Gilead Sciences' HIV drug Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), which is covered by Gilead's global access programme to provide patients in less developed countries with affordable HIV medication.
Production of this compound will continue at the site following the completion of the Novasep acquisition.
In addition to the sizeable manufacturing capacity that the acquisition brings, another feature of the site is that the PharmaChem plants are not specialised, unlike many of Novasep's other facilities, meaning a number of products could be manufactured there.
Along with improving the company's ability to serve its existing US customers, Novasep is hopeful that the purchase will also attract new customers, and is willing to invest further in the site to help meet this aim.
"The idea is to be able to offer this capacity to produce interesting and cost advantageous molecules," a company spokesperson told in-PharmaTechnologist.com
"It's a huge site…a real industrial asset."
Although Groupe Novasep has a client base that stretches all over the world, up until now its manufacturing sites have been predominantly located in European countries. This acquisition marks a geographic expansion for the firm, which it hopes will prove beneficial to its US customers.
The transaction is in the process of being finalised, and according to Novasep should be complete within a matter of weeks. As to whether any more acquisitions are on the cards, a Novasep representative confirmed that the company has plans for external growth, but is being very selective concerning potential acquisition candidates and only considering companies that are thought to really 'fit' with the Novasep business.
Groupe Novasep broke free of parent company Rockwood Holdings at the end of 2006, being sold off for €425m to a financial consortium just two years after merging with Rockwood's Dynamic Synthesis.