Novo A/S-owned Xellia snaps up Fresenius vial plant to expand in U.S.

Fresenius Kabi's Raleigh, NC, manufacturing facility--Courtesy of Fresenius Kabi

When major Novo Nordisk ($NVO) shareholder Novo A/S bought Xellia Pharmaceuticals for $700 million in May 2013, it outlined plans to expand the specialty pharma's manufacturing network. A major piece of that strategy became public this week when Xellia acquired its first North American plant in a deal with Fresenius Kabi.

Xellia has bought a freeze-dried vial manufacturing facility in Raleigh, NC, from Fresenius Kabi, taking on 80 staff in the process. The deal gives Xellia capacity in North America for the first time, providing the company with a platform from which to realize the mid-term growth opportunities envisaged by Novo A/S when it bought the company. A supply agreement with Fresenius Kabi--a long-standing client of its API business--will give Xellia a source of revenue from the day it moves into the plant, but its ambitions extend beyond this initial deal.

Since spinning out of Alpharma with the support of private equity firm 3i in 2008, Xellia has expanded beyond its roots as an API supplier, notably by setting up a freeze-dried vial facility in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2010. Buying the plant in Raleigh gives Xellia complementary capacity in North America, at which it plans to expand and hire additional staff. The expansion plans are part of a global push to add capacity and capabilities, with Xellia also wrapping up a $2 million expansion of its Croatian R&D facility.

For Fresenius Kabi, the sale allows it to trim its production network--and associated costs--while continuing to meet demand for the drugs it manufacturers at the plant, assuming the transfer and supply agreement go smoothly.  

- read the release