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30 September 2014

Silverfleet announces the sale of Aesica Pharmaceuticals for £230 million

Silverfleet Capital, the European private equity firm with a buy-to-build investment strategy, has agreed to sell Aesica Pharmaceuticals (“Aesica”), a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, for £230 million to Consort Medical plc (“Consort”) a healthcare company listed on the London Stock Exchange. The closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur in November, is conditional on the approval of Consort’s shareholders and clearance by the German competition authorities.

Aesica, a global contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO), was founded in 2004. Since then it has evolved from an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer into a full service CDMO. Aesica offers API development and manufacturing, formulation development and clinical trial supply as well as being a major supplier of finished dose manufacturing and packaging services. Today it supplies products to many of the world’s top twenty pharmaceutical companies and exports to over 30 countries.

Silverfleet Capital invested in Aesica in 2011 and over the last three years has worked with the management team to establish the company as one of the top ten CDMOs in the world. In particular Silverfleet supported a £30 million investment at Aesica’s Queenborough site which doubled the site’s solid dose manufacturing capacity. This investment included a facility that is now producing a tableted medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes in adults.

Headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne, Aesica employs over 1,300 people. The company has six pharmaceutical development and manufacturing sites across Europe including Queenborough, Cramlington and Nottingham in the UK, Zwickau and Monheim in Germany and Pianezza in Italy. Aesica was named one of Britain’s fastest growing firms in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 2012, which ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest growing international sales. In the last ten years the business has increased revenue and staff numbers tenfold.

Commenting on the transaction, Adrian Yurkwich, partner at Silverfleet Capital said: “Aesica is an excellent company, with an enviable track record of growth. We have worked very closely with Robert Hardy and his management team over the past 3 years and are proud to have played an instrumental role supporting them to develop Aesica into a highly regarded CDMO. We wish the team every success in the future.”

Dr Robert Hardy, founding CEO of Aesica, added: “We are proud of what we have accomplished with Silverfleet’s support in developing Aesica through a combination of organic growth, continuous process improvement and investment in capacity. We continue to see many exciting opportunities in the pharmaceutical contract manufacturing sector and we look forward to pursuing these under the ownership of Consort.” The seller’s corporate finance adviser was Paul Mankin at PricewaterhouseCoopers while Helen Croke at Travers Smith provided the legal advice.