Nordic Capital and Avista Capital Partners to sell Acino, a leader in advanced drug delivery technologies, to ADQ

Ownership period defined by Acino’s transformation and growth to become leading provider of trusted and innovative pharmaceuticals in emerging markets.

Leading healthcare investors Nordic Capital (through Nordic Capital CV1) and Avista Capital Partners (“Avista Capital”) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to sell Acino (“Acino” or “the Company”), a Swiss pharmaceutical company headquartered in Zurich with a global platform that promotes affordable healthcare in key emerging markets through contract manufacturing and out-licensing.  The acquirer, ADQ is one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

In partnership, Avista Capital and Nordic Capital acquired Acino in 2013 via a take-private transaction from the Swiss stock exchange (SIX: ACIN).  Since that time, both investors supported Acino’s long-term growth strategy and transformed the business to become a high-growth emerging markets- focused pharmaceuticals platform with significant market presence in the Middle East, Ukraine, Russia, and South Africa. Since the 2013 investment, Acino has executed a number of strategically-important acquisitions, including PharmaStart (Ukraine), Litha Healthcare (South Africa), and the acquisition of a portfolio of select over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pharmaceutical assets from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which expanded Acino’s global footprint and addressable therapeutic areas.

Thomas Vetander, Partner, Nordic Capital Advisors, said, “During the ownership period, Acino executed on key growth initiatives and made significant investments to drive both organic and acquisitive growth.  This includes the acquisition of Takeda’s primary care portfolio in key emerging markets, which has positioned Acino for the next phase of its development. We thank the Acino team for their dedication during these years. It’s now time for the Company to take the next step forward together with ADQ to aim for even further growth and expansion”.

Thompson Dean, co-CEO and Managing Partner of Avista Capital, said, “We are incredibly proud that our partnership with Acino strengthened its business and expanded its client base, capabilities, and geographic footprint. During the period of our investment, Acino brought to market many innovative products that are making a real difference in the lives of patients in emerging markets around the world. We know Steffen Saltofte and his team are well-positioned to capture the significant opportunities in front of them, and we wish Acino the best as they embark on this next chapter with ADQ.”

Steffen Saltofte, CEO of Acino, concluded, “On behalf of the entire Acino team, I would like to thank Avista Capital and Nordic Capital for their partnership and invaluable contributions to our company. As owners, they have been instrumental in supporting us and fully focused on seizing the opportunities available to Acino. We look forward to building on our momentum and continuing our strong growth with our new partners at ADQ.”

Fahad Al Qassim, Executive Director, Healthcare & Pharma at ADQ, commented: “We are creating a strong platform to fortify the UAE’s position as a regional hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing, commercialisation and distribution in select growth-leading markets. Our aim for ADQ’s healthcare and pharma cluster is to ensure access to affordable, essential medicines and advance new, innovative treatments that help improve people’s lives. We thank Nordic Capital and Avista Capital for their collaboration and contributions to Acino’s success. We look forward to working with Acino’s leadership team to deliver an even greater level of growth, innovation and ambition across ADQ’s pharma value chain.”

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.