In $1B buyout, Catalent takes on gummy company to jump into a booming market
Few CDMOs have been quite as active as Catalent in the last 18 months, as the company has announced mergers, acquisitions and expansions almost weekly. The company’s next big move is a bit different, as it announced a dive into gummy vitamins on Monday.
The New Jersey-based company will buy Bettera Holdings and its four US manufacturing sites for $1 billion, the company said Monday.
Bettera specializes in supplements, and is backed by Highlander Partners, a private equity firm. The company is based in Plano, TX and makes gummy, soft-chew and lozenge vitamins. The deal allows Catalent to expand its softgel manufacturing as the market grows.
Catalent will pay for the deal through a combination of cash, credit and debt financing, according to a statement.
“This acquisition is a key strategic move for Catalent’s Consumer Health business, where our leadership in manufacturing technologies and formulation can offer customers more product development opportunities and add manufacturing capacity in this dynamic and fast-growing segment,” Catalent’s Aris Gennadios said in prepared remarks. Gennadios is the company’s president of softgel and oral technologies.
The company has about 500 employees, and its 2020 sales totaled around $150 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Those sales are predicted to grow another 20% this year. That prediction comes after Allied Market Research published a report stating that gummy vitamins are going through a surge in popularity, due to the smoother texture and difficulty many experience swallowing pills. A January WSJ story drew an obvious line: a generation of children who had taken gummy vitamins had grown up. That, coupled with the colors and flavors, offers appeal to Gen Z. In 2018, that market was valued around $5.7 billion. It’s projected to be worth more than $9 billion by 2026.
“Introduction of gelatin free, probiotic enriched, and non GMO gummy vitamins is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities for the market expansion in the upcoming future,” the report published in March 2020 says.
Bettera was created with the goal of creating a more “enjoyable and convenient” form of nutritional supplements, Highlander Partners CEO Jeff Hull said in a press release.
“Catalent has long had a similar vision, combined with specialized expertise, a history of successful innovation, a wide range of offerings, and the resources to help Bettera continue to grow and meet customer and consumer needs,” he said. “Together, Catalent Consumer Health and Bettera are well positioned to continue Bettera’s mission of serving consumers and participating in the long-term growth of the self-care market.”
Bettera’s four manufacturing sites are in Indiana, California, Chantilly, Virginia and New Jersey.
In August, Catalent announced it would collaborate with DisperSol to manufacture oncology drugs. Before that Catalent acquired German cell and gene therapy specialist RheinCell Therapeutics, and inked contracts with Denver cannabidiols company JOS Pharmaceuticals and Austin, TX-area preclinical company Curtana Pharmaceuticals, for which it will make CT-170 — a drug therapy for glioblastoma, medulloblastoma and other brain cancers. All of this happened in a little over a month. It also will upgrade its new facility in Anagni, Italy with two new 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors with manufacturing suites.