Philip Morris International has entered into an agreement to acquire Fertin Pharma, a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative pharmaceutical and well-being products based on oral and intra-oral delivery systems, for an enterprise value of DKK5.1 billion ($820 million).
“The acquisition of Fertin Pharma will be a significant step forward on our journey toward delivering a smoke-free future—enhancing our smoke-free portfolio, notably in modern oral, and accelerating our progress in beyond nicotine,” stated Jacek Olczak, chief executive officer of PMI, in a statement.
“Both PMI and Fertin share a commitment to science and consumer-centric innovations for better living, and I am delighted we have reached this agreement. Fertin’s diverse portfolio of technologies, evolving business mix and world-class expertise will enrich our innovation pipeline and capabilities, providing speed and scale in oral delivery to support our 2025 goals of generating more than 50 percent of our net revenues from smoke-free products and at least $1 billion from products beyond nicotine.”
Fertin Pharma is a privately held company with more than 850 employees and operations in Denmark, Canada and India. It is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in the research, development and production of gums, pouches, liquefiable tablets and other solid oral systems for the delivery of active ingredients, including nicotine, where it is a leading producer of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) solutions.
According to PMI, the company and its employees bring significant scientific experience and know-how to the development of innovative solutions, driving above-category growth across new and existing business areas. In 2020, Fertin Pharma generated net revenues of DKK1.1 billion. The transaction value represents a multiple of around 15 times Fertin Pharma’s 2020 EBITDA.
Fertin Pharma is currently owned by the global investment organization EQT and Bagger-Sorensen & Co. Upon the completion of the acquisition, Fertin Pharma will become a wholly owned subsidiary of PMI. PMI will fund the transaction with existing cash and expects it to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to approval by the appropriate regulatory authorities. PMI expects the impact of the acquisition on its full-year 2021 adjusted diluted EPS to be immaterial.
“Fertin Pharma has been on a fantastic journey with EQT and the Bagger-Sorensen family as owners,” said Peter Halling, CEO of Fertin Pharma, in a press note. “With the new ownership in place, Fertin Pharma will be in a great position to continue delivering on our vision and mission, including our work as a CDMO for our customers.
“PMI is going through an inspiring transformation as a company with an ambition to deliver a smoke-free future and building a beyond nicotine product portfolio. An ambition that perfectly matches that of Fertin Pharma, namely to enable people to live healthier lives. In PMI, we have found a new owner and partner who shares our vision, who is committed to science and who will enable Fertin Pharma to further accelerate and grow as a company.”
With the acquisition of Fertin Pharma, PMI will:
- Gain substantial know-how for the development, formulation and commercialization of current and additional smoke-free platforms—including the ability to accelerate its presence in the fast-growing modern oral category, providing superior consumer experience through a broad range of smoke-free products such as nicotine pouches and lozenges.
- Leverage on Fertin’s oral delivery platforms to access a range of promising technologies—complementary to PMI’s inhalation expertise—for scientifically substantiated botanicals and other self-care wellness products, including over-the-counter solutions and supplements that improve people’s lives in areas such as sleep, energy, calm and focus.
- Further build its overall platform of R&D and manufacturing expertise in nicotine and beyond nicotine product areas through the addition of Fertin’s strong capabilities and skilled workforce, including 80 scientists.
- Accelerate progress on key sustainability priorities, notably in broadening the reach and access of its smoke-free alternatives to adult smokers around the world to accelerate the end of smoking and building a strong beyond nicotine business.
Earlier this year, PMI announced its goal to generate more than 50 percent of its total net revenues from smoke-free products by 2025. In addition to its continued commitment to achieve a smoke-free future, PMI says it aims to leverage capabilities in life sciences, product innovation and clinical expertise to expand its portfolio beyond tobacco and nicotine with scientifically substantiated products and solutions that improve people’s lives and generate a net positive impact on society.