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Solvias buys Confarma for EU pharma quality control capacity

By Gareth Macdonald , 04-Feb-2013

Solvias has bought quality control services firm Confarma, expanding its analytical offering and adding capacity in several EU markets.

Privately-owned Solvias announced the acquisition earlier today, explaining that the deal was designed to expand both its contract pharmaceutical quality control (QC) and analytical services offering.

CEO Hansjorg Walther told in-Pharmatechnologsit.com the firm had been attracted by Confarma’s service offering –in microbiology, sterility and medical device testing and pharmacopeial analysis methods – and its “strong position in France.”

The idea is to combine Confarma with Solvias’ existing services business and – although full details of the integration plan are still being worked out – Walther expects that the move will create jobs.

We want to unleash the great potential for synergy that the merger offers by learning from each other and implementing the knowledge gained as Group-wide best practice," he said adding that “the integration will not lead to any reduction in staff, but rather will create jobs.”

He also told this publication that the expanded firm is likely to be on the look-out for more laboratory technicians, analytical chemists and project managers.

Expansion

The acquisition of Switzerland-based Confarma – which also has facilities in Hombourg, France and in Munich, Germany – fits with what Solvias said about the pharmaceutical services market in April last year during its annual sales statement.

The Swiss firm reported that revenue from its services business fell 15 per cent to CHF 44.6m (€36m) in 2011, citing the negative impact the strong Swiss franc had had on its business in the US and northern Europe as a key factor.

At the time Solvias said while it expected to see growth in 2012 “the pressure on prices will persist..although the underpinning of the euro exchange rate by the Swiss National Bank should, provide at least more certainty in planning for the euro zone.

We intend to expand those services which show particular potential for growth and further strengthen existing services. “

In the months between that statement and today's acquisition Solvias has added particle analysis capabilities to its offering in a deal with Innopharma lab and teamed up with Hovione on bioavailability enhancement solutions .

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