Private equity giant’s £958m offer for pharma firm Vectura gets thumbs-up from its board

May 29, 2021

Specialist pharmaceutical firm Vectura, which has its roots in a spin-out from the University of Bath, has agreed to be taken over by global private equity giant Carlyle for £958m.

The approach by Carlyle has been approved by Vectura’s board. Chairman Bruno Angelici said while the firm’s directors remained confident in its long-term fundamentals, they believed it was an attractive offer for Vectura shareholders. 

He added: “The offer reflects the quality, strength and long-term performance of Vectura’s businesses and its future growth potential.”

Chippenham-based Vectura grew strongly by developing inhalable dry-powder drugs that treat lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Its pioneering approach led to new ways of treating asthma and lung diseases and it earned strong revenues from collaborations and licence agreements with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Novartis, Sandoz and GlaxoSmithKline.

In 2016 it merged with London-based Skyepharma, creating one of the UK’s leading specialist pharmaceutical firms with a combined turnover of £1bn.

Two years ago it unveiled a strategy to become a leading inhalation focused contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO).

Mr Angelici said strong progress had since been made on this strategy – the firm signed 18 deals last year – while it continued to deliver strong financial and operational results in its royalties and product supply businesses.

Vectura has 13 key inhaled and 11 non-inhaled products marketed by partners with global royalty streams, and a diverse partnered portfolio of drugs in clinical development.

Carlyle’s offer price of 155p per share was a 32% premium to Vectura’s closing price on Tuesday.

The offer is made up of 136p in cash as well as a 19p cash dividend for each Vectura share held.

Carlyle’s European buyout advisory group managing director Simon Dingemans said: “We have followed the strategic changes underway at Vectura closely and fully support the focus on building a market leading inhalation specialist CDMO.

“We believe that under Carlyle’s ownership Vectura will be able to accelerate its transformation significantly with greater access to capital and the support of our long experience in the sector.”

In a separate announcement, Vectura said it continued to make progress with its CDMO strategy and had a pipeline of potential deals.

Revenues for the CDMO business in 2021 are expected to remain in line with previous guidance of more than tripling compared to 2020, it said.


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