US investment group buys AndersonBrecon for Pounds 200m ; 'WE WILL NEED MORE SKILLS AND TALENT OF MID WALES'
POWYS-BASED pharmaceutical packaging solutions and clinical trials services company AndersonBrecon has been acquired by a US investment group in a Pounds 200m deal.
The agreement sees AmerisourceBergen selling its interest in AndersonBrecon to a US investment group led by private equity company Frazier Healthcare.
AndersonBrecon, which is headquartered in Illinois, will be merged with and operated as Frazier Healthcare's portfolio company, Packaging Coordinators Inc (PCI).
AndersonBrecon (UK) is currently the largest private sector employer in Mid Wales, with more than 300 staff based at its main site in Hay-on-Wye.
Last year it opened a 23,000 sq ft storage and distribution facility at Treforest and a 4,000 sq ft speciality pharma centre dedicated to potent pharmaceuticals at Talgarth.
The Hay-on-Wye site will now play a key role in expanding PCI's European and global footprint, as the organisation's only operation outside of the US.
Currently there are facilities on several sites in Illinois and one in Philadelphia. With the acquisition of AndersonBrecon, PCI will operate with a combined operating space of approximately two million square feet and more than 140 commercial and clinical packaging suites, now employing more than 2,000 people globally.
"This is an exciting time for our business," said Dr Sue Miles, UK site director at Anderson-Brecon.
"PCI is a strong group with an impressive portfolio and ambitious growth plans. This acquisition will bring a wealth of opportunities to both our business and the wider community."
She added: "We will continue to offer the world class products and services we have become known for, but with a new name and appearance.
"This change however gives us the platform to pursue further growth and investments in R&D and product development, requiring more of the skills and talent of Mid Wales which we have supported for many years and will continue to do so in the future."
AndersonBrecon was created last year when Brecon Pharmaceuticals merged with US-firm Anderson Packaging.
Brecon Pharmaceuticals was set up in 1980 with the owner's intention originally to operate from Brecon.
But the company was instead established in Hay-on-Wye when a deal on its planned premises in Brecon fell through.
As a contract packager for clinical trials and pharmaceutical retail, AndersonBrecon mostly packages prescription drugs and drugs under development.
It has a global customer base providing services to clients in North America, Japan, continental Europe and the UK. Eighty per cent of its packaged products are reshipped overseas.
Before the acquisition by Frazier Healthcare, AndersonBrecon globally employed 1,500 people and had a turnover of $250m (Pounds 180m). The turnover within the UK operation was Pounds 22m.
Turnover and staff have doubled since Brecon Pharmaceuticals was acquired by AmerisourceBergen in 2006, the links with an American partner giving the company a footing on the global stage.
The storage and distribution side has grown with the opening of the Treforest site last year, which brought close proximity to the M4 and allows the company to offer later pick up and delivery times.
The Treforest and Talgarth sites opened last year represented a Pounds 1m investment by AmerisourceBergen. Globally AndersonBrecon deals with 18 out of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies in the world, as well as with academic institutions running clinical trials.
Its rural location has presented AndersonBrecon with some challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled staff, and the company has received Pounds 112,000 over past 12 months from Skills Growth Wales Fund to help in training and development of key personnel.
The deal brings together under a single ownership the number one and number three contract packaging businesses in scale in the US pharmaceutical sector.