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Novo A/S Acquires Xellia Pharmaceuticals for US$ 700 million

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
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With this acquisition Novo expands its long-term investment portfolio with a further major life-science company in Denmark.

Xellia Pharmaceuticals announced that Novo A/S, the holding company of the Novo Group, has purchased all shares of the group for approximately US$ 700 million from 3i and other current shareholders. As a consequence of the transaction, Xellia will revert to Danish ownership with headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Since its spin-out from Alpharma Inc. in 2008, Xellia’s management and international investor 3i have successfully transformed the business from an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer to a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on anti-infective products. Xellia’s life-saving anti-infective products for multi-drug resistant infections address a growing global medical challenge, and the Company is a world leading supplier of Vancomycin and Colistimethate Sodium (CMS). Xellia’s products are all manufactured using fermentation-based biological processes at facilities located in Denmark, Norway, Hungary and China.

Xellia’s strategy for future growth is rooted in its leading product development competences, extensive manufacturing expertise and strong commercial partnerships. Over the past years, Xellia has built a substantial pipeline of generic anti-infective treatments, which will be advanced towards commercialization in the coming years. Novo’s investment will allow Xellia to enhance its focus on R&D and expand its global manufacturing footprint to further scale its finished-dosage-form (FDF) business.

Novo is a significant international life science investor, and the major shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and Chr. Hansen Holding A/S. These companies, which have similar technology and manufacturing approaches to Xellia, are global leaders in many of the business segments in which they operate, and have experienced significant growth in recent years. As such, Novo is well positioned to support the continued growth of Xellia through its experience and long-term investment focus.

Carl-Åke Carlsson, CEO, Xellia said: “When the management team bought out Xellia in 2008, we had ambitious plans, which we were able to implement with 3i’s support, expertise and commitment. We have successfully transitioned the business in order to become a world leader in the supply of certain anti-infective products. Now, as we focus on the future and the further development of the business, including the launch of our novel antibiotics pipeline, we look forward to working with Novo and benefitting from their expertise in the life science sector.” He added, “Together with Novo we can strengthen the positive development that Xellia has achieved over the past few years, and at the same time the investment by Novo will help accelerate our developments further.”

Henrik Gürtler, CEO, Novo A/S said: “Xellia strongly complements our portfolio of significant life science companies in which we have major investments. This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy, and is one of the largest investments made by Novo A/S to date. The products that Xellia supplies are critical life-saving treatments for many patients around the globe, and are manufactured by use of fermentation technologies, which is a manufacturing approach similar to that of Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen. Xellia is a leader in its business area, and a company with a long Scandinavian heritage, which we are proud to bring back into long-term Danish ownership. We look forward to establishing a strong relationship with Xellia’s experienced management team and invest together in the future success of the Company.”

Closing of the transaction will be subject to relevant competition law approvals, and is expected to take place during the third quarter of 2013. Kromann Reumert, Latham & Watkins, PwC, NNE Pharmaplan, NNIT and Moelis & Company, acted as advisors to Novo A/S.

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