Sanofi's CDMO spinoff set for next month as new group targets 2022 revenues of €1B

When Sanofi unveiled plans to spin off its European active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) unit back in early 2020, the world looked quite different. But more than two years and a global pandemic later, Sanofi is nearing the end of the spinoff process. 

The French pharma giant plans to list EUROAPI on Euronext Paris on May 6, the company said Friday. For Sanofi investors, 23 shares will yield one share in the new company, and they'll get a 3.33 euro cash dividend for each Sanofi share they hold.

After the process is complete, Sanofi said it plans to hold around 30% of shares and voting interest in EUROAPI. In addition, the French government-associated investment group EPIC Bpifrance will purchase a 12% stake in EUROAPI from Sanofi. Several major shareholders in EUROAPI will lock their investment in the new company for either one or two years.

With the new listing, EUROAPI "aims to reinforce its status as partner of choice for all pharmaceutical laboratories and biotech companies" and grow its independence from Sanofi, the company said in a release. 

The CDMO produces about 200 APIs and offers services "across the R&D continuum," the company said. EUROAPI employs around 3,350 employees and turned in revenues of 893 million euros last year.

It operates six manufacturing sites and development centers in France, Germany, Hungary, Italy and the U.K.

For 2022, EUROAPI is aiming to pull down 1 billion euros. The company believes it is the world's top manufacturer of small molecules and the second largest API maker in revenue terms. Karl Rotthier, former CEO of Dutch drugmaker Centrient Pharmaceuticals, will serve as CEO.

For Sanofi, the spinoff is yet another move in the yearslong transformation CEO Paul Hudson ushered in for the French pharma giant. After joining in 2019, the helmsman implemented a "play to win" strategy at the drugmaker, focusing its efforts in areas where he felt the company could deliver the most success. As part of the push, Sanofi deprioritized struggling disease areas and doubled down in growth fields.

So far, the strategy seems to be working: Sanofi just this week increased its long-term sales target for immunology blockbuster to 13 billion euros.