Aesica Pharmaceuticals

Aesica Pharmaceuticals was one of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisations (CDMOs), with manufacturing and development facilities in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Aesica had the expertise to develop and manufacture primary and secondary stage (finished product dosage form) pharmaceuticals and partnered with pharmaceutical companies throughout the key stages of a drug’s life cycle to supply product from initial development through to final commercial supply.

The company was founded in 2004 when the management team acquired a BASF production facility in Cramlington, Northumberland, and went on to supply many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Its unique proposition lay in its flexible and bespoke approach to service delivery, as well as a capability to supply to each stage of pharmaceutical development.

Our investment

Global outsourcing of pharmaceutical manufacturing was worth about $44bn in 2010, and was forecast to grow at about 7% for the foreseeable future. The growth was, and still is, principally directed towards those contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) that are focused on quality, reliability, delivery and excellent customer service.

Aesica built a reputation as a high-quality CDMO partner with the scale and breadth of service capability to serve a range of outsourcing opportunities. This is why we invested in the business, because it made it well positioned to win new contracts, acquire further sites and become the partner of choice for many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

Value creation

We backed the £30m expansion of the Queenborough production facility - the largest new UK pharma facility in 2013 - to support Aesica’s continued success in securing drug manufacturing projects. We also supported Management to invest in new technologies which delivered exciting products to a range of international clients.

The outcome

For the year ended December 2013 Aesica had sales of £179m (a 16% increase from 2011) and an adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £20m (a 27% increase from 2011).

The Company's valuable strategic position and strong financial performance attracted several strategic trade purchasers. Ultimately, the international healthcare company Consort Medical offered £230m to acquire the Business, generating a 50% IRR and a 3.3x multiple of our original investment.




United Kingdom

Investment date


Exit date


Deal size (exit)



Mid-market fund




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sales before exit


EBITDA before exit

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