Wacker Buys All of ADL BioPharma from Private Equity

11.05.2023 - German chemical group Wacker has acquired 100% of ADL Biopharma from private equity investor Kartesia for a price said to exceed €100 million. It now owns the entire 150,000 m2 production site in the northern Spanish city of Léon with fermentation capacity of just under 3,000 cbm (gross volume).

The Spanish CMO, which employs 300 people, was once part of Antibióticos, which was regarded as a pioneer in the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). ADL BioPharma now touts itself as Europe’s largest contract manufacturer of fermentation-based biotechnology products.

Since buying an initial 800 cbm (gross volume) of fermentation capacity at Léon in 2016, Wacker Biosolutions, the life science arm of the Munich-based group, has produced fermentation-based cysteine at the site as a CDMO.

For Wacker CEO Christian Hartel, the acquisition is “an important step in the continued growth of Wacker’s biotechnology business, with which it expects to generate €1 billion in sales in 2030.

ADL BioPharma’s sales have grown considerably recent years, and the additional fermentation capacities will provide a foundation for Wacker’s growth in the field of sustainably produced dietary ingredients, Hartel said, adding that the German group’s technological expertise, combined with biopharma’s production assets “will make us a much stronger player on this growth market.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Susanne Leonhartsberger, head of Wacker Biosolutions, said ADL BioPharma’s CMO business is a “very good fit for our portfolio,” as the Spanish company maintains “extensive, extraordinarily important customer relationships that we will continue to pursue and expand still further.”

The new capacity will be folded into the new owner’ structure, for example through the production of sustainable ingredients for the foods and nutritional supplements industries. “This is an area where Wacker sees opportunities for growth at the León site in the coming years,” Leonhartsberger said.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist