Advent in German pharma LBO

The UK-based private equity firm continues to invest in pharmaceuticals with the E375m acquisition of German-based Viatris.

UK private equity firm Advent International has completed a E375m LBO of Viatris, a German pharmaceuticals and licensing firm based in Frankfurt. Advent acquired the firm from Degussa, which has now completed its strategy of disposing of its non-core pharmaceutical operations. 

The deal takes Advent’s involvement in pharmaceuticals to more than 50 investments. Previous investments include Trinity Pharmaceuticals in the UK (subsequently bought by Chiesi Farmaceutici), Alcala Farma in Spain, and Tropon in Germany. The E375m purchase price included an unspecified tranche of debt.

Viatris, formerly Asta Medica, has operations across Europe, with manufacturing facilities in Austria, France, the Netherlands, and additional facilities in the USA and Brazil. The firm operates in four areas: respiratory and allergy, dermatology and hygiene and metabolic regulation. The firm reported turnover of E483m in 2001.

According to Ralf Huep, who led the deal on behalf of Advent, the firm’s major strength is its European distribution network, something that Advent will try to further develop. “Our aim is to build an independent pharmaceutical company focusing on sales and marketing, licensing in, registration and product line extension.” Huep added that acquisitions were a possibility for the future.

Advent International has over E6.5bn under management. The firm has over 100 investment professionals operating in the Western and Central Europe, the US, Latin America and Asia. Since 1984, Advent has invested in over 500 companies, 127 of which have completed IPOs on 21 stock exchanges worldwide. The latest investment was made from the firm’s GPE IV fund.