WuXi inks deal to borrow $165M to support manufacturing growth

WuXi PharmaTech ($WX), China's largest CRO with nearly $350 million in new manufacturing facilities, is borrowing $165 million to help finance the construction and expansion of its production capabilities.

The loan is coming from a consortium of banks in Asia led by Citibank and will be repaid in four installments over an 18- to 36-month period, the company said in a release.

WuXi CFO Edward Hu

"This new loan agreement provides WuXi with the resources to invest in several new business opportunities without impacting the strong growth of our current operations," Edward Hu, the company's CFO, said in a statement.

To meet the demands of WuXi's services, Hu said the company is building small-molecule manufacturing facilities in Changzhou, biologics commercial manufacturing facilities in Wuxi City, and two cell-therapy manufacturing facilities in Philadelphia. The total cost of those projects is about $340 million.

Capital spending for the company was about $110 million in 2014 and is forecast to be approximately $200 million this year. WuXi used cash last year and this year to acquire XenoBiotic Laboratories for $37.5 million and NextCODE Health for $65 million.

WuXi credits its success to escalating demand for its discovery services and a broad-based expansion of its manufacturing platform.

- see the WuXi release