Partners Group has agreed to acquire a European pharmaceutical company, Pharmathen, from the international investment firm BC Partners for an enterprise value of approximately $1.9bn (€1.6bn).

Partners Group is acquiring Pharmathen on behalf of its clients.

Established in 1969, Pharmathen is a contract development and manufacturing organisation that focuses on drug delivery technologies for complex generic pharma products.

With research and development (R&D) expertise, the company develops ‘sustained release’ technologies, including long-acting injectables, slow-releasing oral drugs and ophthalmics.

Pharmathen, which adopts a B2B business model, has a blue-chip customer base of approximately 215 generic pharma firms in about 100 countries.

The company operates two US/EU-approved manufacturing sites in Greece.

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Following the acquisition, Partners Group will collaborate with Pharmathen’s management team to boost business in Europe and internationally.

By expanding its on-the-ground presence, Partners Group will aid Pharmathen in expediting its growth in the US.

Furthermore, Partners Group will leverage its capabilities in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors, and its manufacturing experience, to develop novel technology platforms that can enhance patient compliance and offer improved outcomes.

Partners Group Private Equity Europe managing director Pascal Noth said: “Partners Group will lend its operational expertise to support Pharmathen as it expands to meet the increasing demand for affordable Generics and positions for long-term, sustainable growth.”

Pharmathen was taken over by funds advised by BC Partners for €475m in 2015.

Under BC’s ownership, more than €250m was invested in R&D and US Food and Drug Administration-approved sites of Pharmathen and its portfolio extended to 85 products sold in around 100 countries.

BC Partners partner and executive committee member Nikos Stathopoulos said: “During our ownership, we invested over €250m into R&D and new FDA-approved production facilities, nearly doubled the number of employees and executed some truly transformational projects.

“This allowed us to reposition Pharmathen as a technology-driven leader in a very attractive sector with high barriers to entry, with a differentiated business model, deep R&D pipeline and best-in-class manufacturing capabilities which position it strongly for further growth.”

Subject to necessary regulatory approvals, the acquisition is anticipated to conclude this year.