An affiliate of private equity firm Permira Funds is set to acquire small molecule company Cambrex in a deal valued at approximately $2.4bn.

Cambrex provides drug substance, drug product and analytical services across the complete drug lifecycle.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, shareholders of the company will receive $60 in cash for each share of the company’s common stock.

Cambrex president and CEO Steve Klosk said: “We are excited to announce this transaction with Permira, a global private equity firm that has made significant investments in the pharma services space.

“Cambrex will continue to invest aggressively in our commitment to our global customer base, where we are constantly looking at ways to provide the broadest possible range of world-class services.”

Over the past several years, the company has grown to become the contract development and manufacturing organisation in the small molecule space.

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Cambrex acquired Halo Pharma for $425m and Avista Pharma Solutions for $252m in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

These acquisitions added drug product manufacturing and a complete range of early-stage and analytical testing services to the company’s position in drug substance manufacturing.

The company was also able to broaden customer relationships over the full product lifecycle, from pre-clinical through commercial.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of approval by Cambrex’s shareholders and customary regulatory approvals. It is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year.

It will be financed through a combination of debt and equity financing.

Under the agreement terms, Cambrex may solicit acquisition proposals from third parties during a ‘go-shop’ period for 45 days starting from the date of the agreement and subject to the requirements included in it.