Arsenal acquires pharma distributor

The upstart New York middle-market firm has acquired Priority Air Express from Berwind Financial for $75 million, its third investment since closing a debut fund last June.

New York-based Arsenal Capital Partners has acquired Priority Air Express, part of the portfolio managed by Boathouse Partners on behalf of Berwind Financial Group, in a deal worth $75 million (€61.8 million).

The Philadelphia company is a specialty distributor for pharmaceutical and healthcare manufacturers, including the transportation of pharmaceutical samples and promotional materials.

Arsenal managing director Jim Marden led the deal. Audax Mezzanine and an affiliate of DB Zwirn & Co provided debt financing for the deal. Harris Williams served as an advisor to Boathouse Partners.

The Priority Air purchase is part of Arsenal Capital’s strategy of investing in niche companies in outsourced segments of healthcare. The middle market firm in February bought Scientific Protein Laboratories, a pharmaceutical ingredient maker, from global pharmaceutical giant Wyeth in a deal worth $81 million.

The purchase represents the sixth portfolio company for Arsenal, which was formed in 2001 and closed its debut fund last June on $300 million. The firm makes investments in three primary sectors: specialty manufacturing, specialty chemicals and healthcare/pharmaceuticals.