Carlyle sells Qualicaps to Mitsubishi for $650M

The Carlyle Group ($CG), which bought its way into pharmaceutical capsule manufacturing in 2005, is cashing out. It has agreed to sell Qualicaps to Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings for ¥55.8 billion, or about $650 million. 

The private equity group said it expects the deal to close in March of next year. Mitsubishi says Qualicaps is complementary to its API manufacturing and other healthcare operations and that it believes its chemical expertise will allow it to improve Qualicaps products. It noted Qualicaps' 20% market share and its "dominant position in the HPMC market," which it says is projected to have double-digit growth in coming years. 

Carlyle bought Qualicaps, formerly known as Shionogi Qualicaps, from Shionogi & Co., Ltd. in October 2005 and has been building up the business--it claims Qualicaps is now the largest pharma capsule maker in Japan and the second largest in the world. It says it has boosted the company's revenue by more than 50% and its EBITDA by 120% during its ownership by bringing new products to market and expanding into new regions. According to The Deal Pipeline, which reported the sale price, Carlyle has also added some other companies to the mix, with deals for capsule makers such as Pharmaphil and Technophar Equipment and Service Ltd., both based in Windsor, Ontario.

This is not the only recent deal in the space. Canada-based Patheon recently finalized its $225 million buyout of Banner Pharmacaps, a move that gives it four more manufacturing operations, 1,200 more employees and a foothold in the rapidly growing Latin market.

- read the Mitsubishi announcement (pdf)
- here's the Carlyle announcement 
more from The Deal Pipeline