M&A, Outsourcing

With CRO consolidation in full swing, Catalent inks a $950M deal to acquire Cook Pharmica and signals an appetite for more

Today it is Catalent’s turn to take a lead role in the consolidation of the global outsourcing business.

The big and growing CMO has snapped up Bloomington, IN-based Cook Pharmica for $950 million, adding a group with 750 staffers involved in biologics development and biomanufacturing and fleshing out the start-to-finish suite of services that Catalent has on offer to the biopharma world.

Cook is bringing their 875,000 square foot facility in Bloomington to the Catalent organization, along with annual revenue of $179 million.

John Chiminski

The deal, which comes with $750 million in cash and the rest due in annual installments, highlights the big money consolidation game in the contract services business. As I noted in my recent look at the top 10 players in clinical research, the name of the game has been building global organizations that can serve as a one-stop shop for the companies they work with — at a time biopharma has been steadily outsourcing more and more of the heavy lifting in drug development and manufacturing.

Barry Littlejohns

The complementary biologics development, biomanufacturing, and fill-finish capabilities of Catalent and Cook Pharmica will provide biopharmaceutical firms with a single, integrated partner supporting a wide range of clinical and commercial needs,” said John Chiminski, Catalent’s chief executive. “We are very excited to join forces with the talented Cook Pharmica team in Bloomington, Indiana and plan to invest aggressively there, in our rapidly expanding Madison, Wisconsin facility, and in the rest of the Catalent Biologics network to build a true global leader in the biologics market, which will help us to improve the lives of patients around the world.”

I asked Barry Littlejohns, the company’s president of drug delivery solutions, if Catalent is looking for similar deals. His response: “[We] continue to look for acquisitions that enhance our technical differentiation,” while adding, “we believe there are numerous opportunities for us to grow inorganically and we will continue to identify acquisition targets that can enhance our rate of organic growth.”

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