Catalent lays out $1B to buy gummy manufacturer Bettera, getting 4 factories and 500 new employees in the process

Catalent has kept busy during the pandemic by helping vaccine heavyweights scale up their supply chains. In an expansion bid beyond its ongoing pandemic work, the company is buying a leading producer of gummies in the nutritional supplements field.

In a Monday deal, the CDMO giant said it's picking up Texas-based Bettera Holdings in an all-cash deal worth $1 billion. Catalent says Bettera offers "broad and difficult-to-replicate expertise" in the fast-growing gummy, lozenge and soft chew fields.

Once the deal closes, the Bettera buy will allow Catalent to expand its offerings in consumer healthcare, the company notes. Bettera operates production sites in California, Indiana, New Jersey and Virginia, all of which will transfer to Catalent through the buyout.

Catalent will also add about 500 employees with the acquisition.

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The companies expect the deal to close by the end of the year. Currently, Bettera is a portfolio company of Highlander Partners.

By making an M&A play in consumer healthcare, Catalent plans to "offer customers more product development opportunities and add manufacturing capacity in this dynamic and fast-growing segment," the company's oral and softgel president Dr. Aris Gennadios said in a statement.

For Catalent, the buy comes amid a busy stretch of pandemic contract manufacturing work. The company has signed up to help produce vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. It also entered a deal with Humanigen to help produce the biotech's monoclonal antibody hopeful lenzilumab.

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Just last month, the company laid plans to spend $100 million to add biologics drug substance production capacity at a site in Italy that it acquired from Bristol Myers Squibb in early 2020.