Deal Activity Alerts: Sector & Company Updates

Author: JC Lupis

Friday January 15th, 2021

Sector Alert! A new PE darling? ENT activity on the rise.

ENT (or otolaryngology) remains in the early stages of consolidation, but we’re seeing indications of increased dealmaking in this vertical. PE firms may be attracted by the broad swathe of the population needing treatment, the diverse service lines offered, and the strong demand profile.

Here are the deals announced in the past week or so, headlined by a new PE-backed platform.

See also: GHA Q&A with Rapidly-Expanding ENT & Allergy Platform SENTA Partners

Sector Alert! A pair of PE-backed urology deals.

Urology has also been developing into an appealing vertical for PE investment, driven in part by its multiple revenue streams and whitespace opportunity. There are now 5 PE-backed platforms (6 if you include last week’s Integrated Oncology Network’s partnership with Southwest Urology), and add-on activity appears to be accelerating. This week brings the following news, headlined by the formation of the largest urology group in the country.

See also: 25 Statistics About the Urology Market

Company alert! Audax is on a roll.

Finally, Audax Private Equity deserves a mention for its activity this week, with platform deals and some add-ons, to boot. Not only did Audax invest in the ENT sector (as mentioned above), but it may have heralded the beginning of another vertical to keep an eye out for with its strategic investment in Global Nephrology Solutions. This week Audax also teamed up with Linden to acquire StatLab Medical Products, while PE Hub reported add-on activity for its portfolio company Active Day, which were in addition to the add-ons noted above for United Urology Group. (Separately, PE Hub also reported last Friday that Audax-backed Axia Women’s Health had made an add-on acquisition, this news being followed on Monday by a new report that Axia Women’s Health is preparing for a possible sale.)

Friday January 8th, 2021

Sector Alert! Gastroenterology has had a hot start to the year.

PE-backed gastro platforms have wasted no time in announcing new deals this year. This week in the Daily Note we’ve already covered the following transactions:

Sector Alert! CDMOs are also seeing a lot of early activity.

GI Alliance may have powered a fast start to the year for gastro M&A, but contract development & manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) are also seeing their fair share of deals, including from PE sponsors:

  • Vivo Capital has made a majority investment in Serán Bioscience, a CDMO with more than 50 employees at its facilities in Bend, Oregon. Its “specialized expertise in enhanced solubility and engineered particle formulations” were cited by Vivo Capital as having particular appeal. (Press release, 1/6/21)
  • MilliporeSigma (the life science business of Merck, operating as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada) acquired AmpTec, a German CDMO specializing in mRNA therapeutics and PCR technology. Awareness of mRNA has of course risen in the public consciousness given the success of mRNA-based vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna. (Press release, 1/7/21)
  • SK Capital agreed to acquire Catalent‘s Blow-Fill-Seal sterile CDMO business operating out of a facility in Woodstock, Illinois, forming a new independent business in the process. (Press release, 1/6/21)
  • Genezen Laboratories, a cell and gene therapy CDMO, announced a majority investment from Ampersand Capital Partners. Unlike the above-mentioned acquired Catalent business, which concentrates on clinical to commercial stage manufacturing, Genezen is focused on early-stage process development among other services. The investment will be used to complete construction of a cGMP-compliant production facility. Keep your eye out for more activity in the cell and gene therapy space this year. (Press release, 1/5/21)
  • Finally, contract manufacturers aren’t only for pharma. In another transaction, Avalign Technologies, a portfolio company of Linden Capital Partners, announced its acquisition of the assets of Slice Manufacturing Studios of Akron, Ohio. Slice is a contract manufacturer of medical devices, and was attractive to Avalign as a result of its “additive manufacturing, high tolerance subtractive manufacturing, and sterile packaging capabilities.” (Press release, 1/4/21)

Interested in the CDMO space? GHA has recent experience, having advised Japan’s Seikagaku Corporation in its 2020 acquisition of Canada’s Dalton Pharma Services. Reach out to us with any questions or if you’re interested in discussing CDMOs.