GTCR to invest $200m in pharma platform

Fresh from its $900m exit of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, US buyout veteran GTCR has established a buy-and-build platform for specialty pharmaceutical companies and products.

Chicago-headquartered GTCR Golder Rauner has set up a $200 million pharmaceuticals platform with Abbot Laboratories veteran Ed Fiorentino.

Fiorentino’s 22-year career with Abbot included oversight of the company’s US sales, marketing and new product planning; he will become chief executive of newly established platform company Actient.

To support Actient’s acquisitions of specialty pharmaceutical companies and products, GTCR will invest up to $200 million in equity from its ninth private equity fund, which closed on $2.75 billion in 2006.

The deal continues the firm’s strategy of backing specific management teams to target sectors. Similar investments made by Fund IX include its agreement in November 2008 to invest up to $250 million to create a medical device platform run by healthcare executive Thomas Daulton. In January 2008, GTCR agreed to invest up to $200 million in Boomerang Media, an entertainment copyrights and intellectual property platform led by media veterans Eric Ellenbogen and John Engelman. That same month, GTCR partnered with Clorox executive Richard Conti to form branded consumer products company Aspire Brands, a $250 million venture.

The pharmaceutical sector has recently provided some positive results for GTCR: Last month, it sold platform company Ovation Pharmaceuticals to a Danish drugs company for roughly $900 million. It had originally invested $150 million into Ovation in 2002 and went on to back nine add-on acquisitions and purchase more than 20 marketed and development stage drugs to augment the pharmaceutical group.