Bain, Cinven buy Lonza Specialty Ingredients in $4.7 billion deal

ZURICH (Reuters) – Bain Capital and Cinven are acquiring Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients division in a deal worth $4.7 billion, the Swiss contract drug maker said on Monday, as it focuses on its faster-growing unit that supplies drug and biotech companies.

The Bain-Cinven consortium had been listed with Germany’s Lanxess and buyout groups Advent, Carlyle and others as bidders for the unit that makes anti-dandruff shampoo ingredients, nutritional supplements for swine and microbial controls for wood and hygiene products.

Lonza, which said the enterprise value of the transaction is 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.7 billion), is doubling down on its accelerating drug business. Its customers include Moderna, which Lonza supplies with ingredients for its COVID-19 vaccine, and AstraZeneca, which hired the Swiss company to help make its COVID-19 antibody treatment.

“The sale of the Specialty Ingredients business will allow Lonza to focus on its position as a leading partner to the healthcare industry,” said Chairman Albert Baehny in a statement.

“The free cash flows resulting from the sale will allow us to accelerate our strategic priorities,” he added.

Lonza’s shares rose more than 60% last year, as it expanded in drugs and prepared to unload Specialty Ingredients.

The unit, once Lonza’s mainstay before the ascendant drugs and biotech division relegated it to the back burner, saw revenue fall 2.1% last year to 1.7 billion francs last year.

By contrast, Lonza’s drug, biotech and nutrition revenue rose 7.2% to 4.5 billion francs as Lonza pushed ahead with a big expansion, including building four new production lines for Moderna’s vaccine against the new coronavirus in the United States and in Switzerland.

($1 = 0.8986 Swiss francs

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