Mayne Pharma to pay $120 million for Metrics

Mayne Pharma, an Australia-based drugmaker, has jumped the Pacific to buy Metrics, a privately owned U.S. niche drug developer and contract manufacturer, in a deal that could reach $120 million.

Mayne will pay Metrics, which was advised by Fairmount Partners, $105 million on closing and up to $15 million more by June if Metrics hits certain performance goals. The Greenville, NC-based Metrics has 300 employees. It had sales of $51.6 million and earnings of $16.1 million in the 12 months that ended June 30.

Metrics specializes in formulating complex oral drugs, including controlled substances and products with poor bioequivalence. It manufactures niche products for its clients, as well as for itself, and sells its own products through its wholesaler distributor, Midlothian Laboratories. Mayne, which is based in Melbourne, said Metrics gives it access to the U.S. market, moves it into contract manufacturing and has a pipeline of 11 niche generic drugs, including two that have been filed with the FDA for approval.

"In addition to providing scale in the U.S. market, Metrics brings additional technical capabilities and material upside from cross-selling revenue opportunities," Mayne Pharma CEO Scott Richards said in a statement.

Mayne was the oral drug business of Mayne Pharma Ltd., an Australian company that Hospira ($HSP) bought in 2007 for $2 billion primarily for its expertise in specialty generic injectable drugs. Hospira sold the oral drug operations to Halcygen Pharmaceuticals in 2009, which returned to the Mayne Pharma name a year later.

This acquisition comes as analysts predict a growing market for contract manufacturing as some of the biggest drugmakers slim down their own operations to cut costs.

- here's the release

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