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NZ Pharmaceuticals gets cash injection

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/04/2016 Paul McBeth

New Zealand Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures specialty chemicals, has got a $49.6 million injection from its new controlling shareholder, Australian private equity firm Archer Capital.

Last week local private equity firm Direct Capital completed the sale of its 51 per cent stake in Palmerston North-based NZP for an undisclosed sum to Archer, saying it had been "very successful" for its investors.

While the price wasn't disclosed, Australian newspapers had previously reported it as being in the realm of $200 million.

Since Direct Capital first invested in 2005, the pharmaceutical products maker has invested in research and development capability, including the acquisition of Dextra Laboratories in the UK, and manufacturing facilities to expand its capacity.

Documents lodged with the Companies Office show NZP issued 6.9 million of new shares at $7 apiece on March 31, lifting the total to 36.3 million and valuing the company at $254 million. Archer entities own about 73 per cent of NZP's new holding company, Elviti Holdings, with senior management including chief executive Andy Lewis and directors Richard Garland and Barry Old.

Archer's focus for NZP is on organic growth based on "robust underlying demand drivers together with new product R&D," the Australian firm's website said.

Last year, the Australian private equity firm bought a group of training organisations under the umbrella of Aspire2 Group.

NZP is the world's second-biggest manufacturer of cholic acid, a key ingredient for liver treatments, and the bulk of the firm's revenue is derived from export markets.

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