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Novo A/S acquires Xellia Pharmaceuticals for $700 million
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


OSLO, Norway—Xellia Pharmaceuticals, which develops and manufactures anti-infective therapies for multi-drug resistant infections, has announced that Novo A/S, the holding company of the Novo Group, has purchased all of its shares from 3i and other shareholders for roughly $700 million. Once the transaction is complete, Xellia will move its headquarters to Copenhagen, Denmark.  
"When the management team bought out Xellia in 2008, we had ambitious plans, which we were able to implement with 3i's support, expertise and commitment. We have successfully transitioned the business in order to become a world leader in the supply of certain anti- infective products," Carl-Åke Carlsson, CEO of Xellia, said in a press release regarding the transaction. "Now, as we focus on the future and the further development of the business, including the launch of our novel antibiotics pipeline, we look forward to working with Novo and benefiting from their expertise in the life science sector. Together with Novo we can strengthen the positive development that Xellia has achieved over the past few years, and at the same time the investment by Novo will help accelerate our developments further."  
Xellia was spun out from Alpharma Inc. in 2008, and transitioned from a focus on active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing to its current specialization. The company has production sites in Oslo, Copenhagen, Budapest (Hungary) and Taizhou (China), with approximately 850 employees between the four sites.
Xellia manufactures all of its products using fermentation-based biological processes, and offers APIs in bulk or sterilized finished dosage forms (FDFs), with its key technologies consisting of fill-finish, chemical syntesis (semi-synthetic antibiotics) and microbial strain development, fermentation and purification. The company has developed its own pipeline of generic anti-infective treatments with a variety of delivery system platforms—including topical, proprietary ready-to-use infusion delivery, infusion bags for injectable delivery and inhalation delivery—which it will move to commercialize in the near future. The transaction will provide Xellia with the ability to focus on its research and development and expand its global manufacturing footprint to grow its FDF business.
"Xellia strongly complements our portfolio of significant life-science companies in which we have major investments. This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy, and is one of the largest investments made by Novo A/S to date," commented Novo A/S CEO Henrik Gürtler in a statement. "The products that Xellia supplies are critical life-saving treatments for many patients around the globe, and are manufactured by use of fermentation technologies, which is a manufacturing approach similar to that of Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen. Xellia is a leader in its business area, and a company with a long Scandinavian heritage, which we are proud to bring back into long-term Danish ownership. We look forward to establishing a strong relationship with Xellia's experienced management team and invest together in the future success of the company."
The transaction is subject to competition law approvals, and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Novo A/S brought on Kromann Reumert, Latham & Watkins, PwC, NNE Pharmaplan, NNIT and Moelis & Company as advisors for the deal.
Code: E05211301



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