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Cambrex to go private

by Michael McCoy
August 9, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 32


The small-molecule drug services firm Cambrex has agreed to be acquired by the private equity firm Permira in a transaction worth about $2.4 billion, including debt. Under the deal, Cambrex shareholders will receive $60 in cash per share, a 47% premium on the firm’s Aug. 6 closing stock price. Cambrex has the right to solicit acquisition proposals from other parties during a 45-day “go-shop” period. With sales last year of about $515 million, Cambrex is one of just a few pharmaceutical chemical companies to be publicly traded—and for now, the only one based in the US. It acquired two significant drug services businesses over the past year: Avista Pharma Solutions, for $252 million, and Halo Pharma, for $425 million. Permira, which already owns LSNE, a finished-drug services firm, says it will back Cambrex in its next phase of growth. If the deal is completed, Cambrex will follow AMRI, another large US-based drug chemical firm, in leaving the stock market for private ownership. In that 2017 deal, two investment firms paid $1.5 billion to take AMRI private. Although AMRI sold for a lower price, its sales at the time were greater than Cambrex’s are today.


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