New CEO Maselli extends Catalent's expansion blitz with $475M buyout of CDMO Metrics

Five days into his tenure as new CEO at Catalent, Alessandro Maselli revealed a restructure of the New Jersey-based contract manufacturer designed to streamline its operations.

Now a month later, Maselli has pulled off his first key acquisition, a $475 million buyout of another CDMO, Metrics Contract Services. The company, a subsidiary of Australia-based Mayne Pharma Group, has a 333,000-square-foot plant in Greenville, N.C., with the capacity to produce more than 1 billion solid-dose pills annually.

Catalent said it will retain Metrics’ 400-plus employees and the site will continue to manufacture multiple products for its former parent per a five-year agreement. Catalent expects the deal to be complete by the end of the year.

The acquisition bolsters Catalent’s capabilities in oral solid formulation development, manufacturing and packaging, while also expanding its capacity to handle highly potent compounds, the company said.

"This is a great one for us," Catalent's head of marketing and strategy, Pharma & Consumer Health, Dan Peizer, said. "We’ve been very interested in the potent handling space for quite some time. We’ve made some investments in our network to that effect. This is a capability that will be an excellent fit for what our customers want."

With many drugmakers now focused more on developing advanced oncology and rare disease drugs, there is a shortfall in the industry for the specialized manufacturing that they require.

"There are a lot of great therapies that are meeting unmet needs," Peizer said. "And they need the right kind of sclae and the right kind of handling to be able to progress them all the way through."

Mayne acquired Metrics in 2012 and over the last five years it has poured more than $100 million into capital improvements of the site, which now includes 16 manufacturing suites. Eleven are designed to handle highly potent compounds, Catalent said. The plant also has two packaging lines.

Catalent said the facility will “seamlessly integrate” into its oral development and manufacturing network, which includes sites in Winchester, Kentucky, and St. Petersburg, Florida.

The move continues a blitz of acquisitions—totaling more than $1 billion—over the last 12 months, Catalent said. The company also has been busy investing in expansion of its current network of facilities.

In April alone, Catalent revealed a $350 million investment in its biologics facility in Bloomington, Indiana, snapped up Eyrtech of Princeton, N.J. and its cell therapy plant for $44.5 million and purchased a partially-built biologics site in Oxfordshire, England, where it has earmarked $160 million to complete its construction.  

Then in May, Catalent said it was pouring $175 million into upgrades at its massive Kentucky plant, adding 107,000 square feet and up to 277 jobs.