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      Nicholas Pirmal acquires Avecia Pharmacueitcals in UK


      Nicholas Piramal India (NPIL) announced the acquisition of Avecia Pharmaceuticals, UK for a consideration of Ã,£9.5 million. The consideration is inclusive of funding the business' UK pension fund deficit of between Ã,£8-9 million. The transaction completion is subject to required regulatory and other approvals.

      This acquisition is NPIL's second M&A transaction in the UK after its acquisition of Rhodia's Inhalation Anaesthetics business in December 2004. The transaction is in the nature of a share purchase on liabilities and cash-free basis. It includes working capital of Ã,£8.8 million.

      Avecia Pharmaceuticals is a global custom manufacturing player focused on providing custom chemical synthesis and manufacturing services for the innovator pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. It had consolidated sales of Ã,£36.1 million (Rs 2.9 billion) in 2004.

      Avecia Pharmaceuticals is part of the UK-based Avecia Group. Private equity funds managed by Cinven and Investcorp International acquired Avecia Group from AstraZeneca in 1999.

      The acquisition of Avecia Pharmaceuticals marks the start of a new wave of restructuring within the global custom manufacturing industry.

      Players in Europe and North America, driven by their access to technologies and customers, have historically dominated the $15 billion industry. However, over the last few years, increased cost pressure and downturn in the pharma industry has put them under pressure. Experts believe that the winning custom manufacturers of the future will have a strong manufacturing base in India with technology and early-phase beachheads in North America and Europe.

      This transaction is the first step in NPIL's strategy of establishing global footprint for its custom manufacturing business. The reconfigured asset base will include access to leading early phase assets, including nearly 100 early-phase and launched products.

      November 23, 2005


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