Croda International PLC (LON:CRDA) said it has strengthened its position in the life sciences sector after acquiring Avanti Polar Lipids, a lipid-based drug delivery specialist, for an initial consideration of US$185mln with an additional earnout of up to US$75mln based on near-term commercial opportunities.
Avanti creates and makes high-purity polar lipids that are increasingly being used as delivery systems for complex therapeutic drugs and in next-generation mRNA vaccines. The business provides its products to the majority of the leading pharmaceutical companies as well as to biotechnology businesses and academic research organisations.
“Avanti’s know-how and technology are highly complementary to Croda’s own capabilities in drug delivery systems, vaccine adjuvants and immunotherapy”, the company said, adding that the acquisition will more than double Croda’s research and development capability in drug delivery.
Croda said Avanti will continue to operate under its existing brand following the completion of the acquisition and will be part of the company’s life sciences business and sit within its health care business. The purchase is being financed by a three-year term loan.
“We have long admired the Avanti team for their deep scientific know-how and are already working together on high-potential commercial opportunities. With their exciting drug delivery technologies, Avanti is a market leader in a high growth niche of the health care market, serving over 3,000 customers globally”, said Croda chief executive Steve Foots.
“Bringing Avanti’s best-in-class expertise into Croda also significantly enhances our presence across the pharma product lifecycle, including early stage R&D, clinical trials, analysis and formulation. I am confident that Avanti will prove transformative to the capabilities and performance of our Life Sciences sector”, he added.
Croda’s shares were 2.7% higher at 5,336p in late-afternoon trading on Monday.