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Unither Pharmaceuticals

Unither is the pioneer of the manufacture of sterile unit doses using Blow-Fill-Seal technology (BFS) with applications in asthma treatments and ophthalmology.

Unither was established in 1993, having acquired a manufacturing plant from Sanofi-Aventis in Amiens, France. The business grew rapidly, becoming a specialised contract development and manufacturing operator (CMDO) to the pharmaceutical industry.

Today, Unither is the global market leader in BFS or stick pack packaging, with a research and development centre and four production sites in France, along with further sites in the USA and Brazil. The business is backed by a 1,200-strong workforce.

VALUE CREATION


Equistone has worked alongside the management team to support its plans for international expansion with:

  • The implementation of BFS and stick pack technology in the USA, following the acquisition of UCB’s pharmaceutical plant in Rochester, USA, in October 2013.
  • The acquisition of Brazilian CDMO, Mariol Industrial, in December 2015, which strengthening its presence in the fast-growing South American market.

During the investment period, Unither expanded its product offering and also benefited from an increased demand from the market. As a result, turnover has increased from €162m in 2011 to €271m budgeted for the financial year ending 2016.

THE EXIT

In March 2017, Equistone Partners Europe sold its Fund IV investment in Unither Pharmaceuticals to Ardian. The realisation resulted in a money multiple of 4.0x and an IRR of 31%.

HOLDING PERIOD

Nov 2011 - Mar 2017

Country

France

Business Description

Healthcare

Revenue Progression

€150m / €271m

Employees at ACQ.

850

Investment Type

Secondary MBO

We’re very happy and very proud to have accompanied Unither’s teams over the past five years and to have actively supported them in their international expansion strategy, particularly in the United States and Brazil.

ADD-ON ACQUISITIONS

Mariol Industrial (Brazil)
Jan 2016
UCB Rochester (USA)
Oct 2013