OpEx Awards 22: Americas Lower mid-market winner – Permira

Permira worked closely with LSNE’s management team to scale the healthcare contract manufacturing business and grow its international footprint.

Founded in 1997, Lyophilization Services of New England (LSNE) is a healthcare contract development and manufacturing company headquartered in Bedford, New Hampshire.

The company has a history of serving global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. The business is known for its high-quality aseptic fill-finish capabilities, as well as its expertise in lyophilisation – a process to extend the stability and shelf life of complex molecules.

When Permira acquired LSNE in 2017, the private equity firm favoured a collaborative approach, working closely with the company’s founder and CEO to identify areas of growth potential in a capacity-challenged market where substantial investment is needed to bring new products to market.

“An excellent example of cross-border growth”

One of the most important value-creation levers for Permira in scaling up the business was the expansion of LSNE’s footprint. In 2018, the purchase of a Wisconsin-based facility provided LSNE with a quality asset that had high-speed production lines. The following year, LSNE acquired a facility in León, Spain – its first entry into the European market – which enabled the company to become a global player with an international presence.

LSNE also constructed a dedicated customer facility in 2021 with standalone aseptic fill and finish capabilities, which will become the sole global supplier for large customers after the facility becomes fully operational, according to Permira. Further investments in infrastructure included a state-of-the-art laboratory and warehouse in New Hampshire, which increased the company’s capacity to serve customers.

Over the course of its investment in LSNE, Permira embarked on projects totalling more than $100 million-worth of growth capex to increase capacity and capabilities across liquid and lyophilised aseptic fill and finish.

Through the Permira senior adviser network, LSNE also added a chairman with key connections in the pharma industry to its ranks, as well as a new CFO and an M&A strategy leader. In addition, it expanded the sales and marketing teams three-fold and grew the HR function.

In December 2021, Permira completed the sale of LSNE to PCI Pharma Services for a purchase price of $1.5 billion, according to reports.

The judging panel remarked that Permira’s investment in LSNE represented “an excellent example of cross-border growth driven by a global private equity firm”.

To access more Permira insights, analysis and data, click here