SINGAPORE/AMIENS, 26 OCTOBER 2022 – The consortium comprises GIC and IK Partners (“IK”), entering the equity, as well as Keensight Capital (“Keensight”) and Parquest, reinforcing their existing positions. It will become the new shareholder of Unither Pharmaceuticals (“Unither” or “The Company”) alongside the management team.
Spun out of Sanofi in 1993, Unither is a leading European pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation (“CDMO”) producing complex sterile liquid formulations for medical use and is currently the global market leader in the Blow-Fill-Seal (“BFS”) technology, a sterile single-unit dosage format.
Headquartered in Amiens, France, Unither employs more than 1,600 people across seven manufacturing facilities in France, the US, Brazil, and China, as well as an additional R&D centre in Bordeaux, France. Its products are sold in over 100 countries demonstrating a well-established global footprint. The Company benefits from a long-standing and loyal customer base made up of medium to large pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology, generics and over-the-counter (“OTC”) players and is recognised for its technical expertise and industrial performance. It has a strong track record of organic growth and with the support of Ardian, Unither has enlarged its footprint to China to serve a growing global demand for its high-quality BFS products.
Together, GIC, IK, Keensight and Parquest will leverage the strong local footprint of their respective international platforms to support Unither’s future growth by: continuing to support new and existing customers in launching new products; further penetrating the US market; taking advantage of the significant growth expected in China; and expanding into BFS adjacencies such as vaccines and multi-dose preservative free dosage forms. The management team is significantly reinvesting its proceeds and the Company will continue to operate under Eric Goupil’s leadership as he transitions to the newly created role of Executive Chairman.
Financial details of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Eric Goupil, Executive Chairman at Unither Pharmaceuticals, said: “With Ardian’s support, we have been able to strengthen our business in the US, expand into China and continue investing significantly to cope with our customers’ strong demand and fuel our future organic growth. In collaboration with our new partners, GIC and IK and with the support of our historic partners Keensight and Parquest, we are seeking to build on this strong foundation, to continue satisfying our customers and leverage our global footprint.”
Philippe Poletti, CEO at Ardian France, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Buyout Activity, said: "We are very pleased to have been part of Unither's growth for the past five years. Our strong relationship with Eric Goupil allowed us to help the group develop and consolidate its position as a global leader. We would like to thank the whole Unither team and wish them a successful future alongside GIC, IK, Keensight and Parquest.”
Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer of Private Equity at GIC, said: “We are excited to invest in Unither alongside Eric Goupil, IK and existing shareholders Keensight and Parquest. Unither is a clear market leader in the BFS business space with its innovative and diversified product portfolio, a steady customer base and highly resilient revenue model. We are confident in Unither’s long-term growth potential as the global CDMO market continues to benefit from an increase in pharma drug production and outsourcing trends. We look forward to partnering with the Company’s outstanding management team and our consortium to take Unither to its next phase of growth.”
Magdalena Svensson, Partner at IK and Advisor to the IK Partnership Fund II, said: “Under the leadership of Eric Goupil and with Ardian’s backing, Unither has established itself as a global market leader in sterile liquid formulations and the BFS segment. Having stolen a march on the rest of the sector, Unither holds a unique position which, thanks to the high barriers to entry and strong underlying markets, warrant high growth expectations. We look forward to actively contributing to the strengthening of Unither’s global industrial footprint and operations, with the support of our in-house platform teams. Together with management, GIC, Keensight and Parquest, we plan to pursue existing growth strategies and explore new avenues in the BFS field as well as in adjacent technologies.”
Pierre Remy, Managing Partner at Keensight, said: “We are extremely pleased to continue our strong partnership with Unither and its very talented management team, in an exciting new phase of the Company’s development. During our tenure as shareholder, the Company strengthened its leadership position globally and undertook a significant operational expansion in China and Brazil via two major acquisitions. By reinvesting in Unither, we remain committed to supporting the management team in helping them execute on their continued growth strategy, both organically in the rapidly expanding BFS market and through selective strategic acquisitions. We are very happy to continue the journey with Parquest and to be joined by GIC and IK.”
Denis Le Chevallier, Managing Partner at Parquest, said: “We are delighted to have supported a new stage of development alongside Eric Goupil and his teams. Since our first investment in 2006, Unither has enjoyed uninterrupted growth and is now the undisputed leader in BFS. We are convinced that this new chapter to be written alongside GIC, IK and Keensight will enable the group to continue and accelerate its development, particularly internationally.”
Completion of the transaction is subject to relevant legal and regulatory approvals.