Philip Morris International (PMI) has signed an agreement to acquire Fertin Pharma from EQT for a total consideration of nearly $820m (kr5.1bn).

Denmark-based contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Fertin Pharma focuses on oral and intra-oral delivery technologies.

The company develops and produces gums, powders, liquefiable tablets and additional solid oral systems to deliver active ingredients such as nicotine for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical use.

Novel and user-relevant products boost the effectiveness of active and functional ingredients when consumed, Fertin Pharma noted.

Presently, EQT and Bagger-Sørensen own Fertin Pharma, which is a major Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) solution manufacturer.

On acquiring Fertin Pharma, PMI will obtain significant expertise to develop, formulate and market exiting, as well as new smoke-free platforms.

Furthermore, PMI will use the oral delivery platforms of Fertin to access various technologies, which complement its inhalation capabilities, for scientifically validated botanicals and additional self-care wellness products.

These products would comprise over-the-counter solutions and supplements.

The deal will also aid in growing PMI’s R&D and production abilities in nicotine and outside nicotine product range by leveraging Fertin’s expertise and workforce that includes 80 researchers.

Last year, Fertin manufactured about three billion NRT doses and recorded net revenues of nearly $160m (kr1.1bn).

Philip Morris International CEO Jacek Olczak said: “The acquisition of Fertin Pharma will be a significant step forward on our journey toward delivering a smoke-free future, enhancing our smoke-free portfolio, notably in modern oral and accelerating our progress in beyond nicotine.

“Fertin’s diverse portfolio of technologies, evolving business mix, and world-class expertise will enrich our innovation pipeline and capabilities, providing speed and scale in oral delivery to support our 2025 goals of generating more than 50% of our net revenues from smoke-free products and at least $1bn from products beyond nicotine.”

Subject to regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year. After the closing, Fertin Pharma will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of PMI.