Invent Farma, a laboratory based in Sant Joan Despí (Baix Llobregat), is changing hands once again. Apax Partners has closed for about €220M the purchase of the pharmaceutical group comprising Laboratorios Lesvi, Inke and Quilaten.
This operation is the first one that the British fund has carried out in Catalonia since 2007, when it took control of Electro Stocks Groupa company dedicated to the professional distribution of electrical, automation, air conditioning and plumbing equipment, in which it now holds the entire share capital.
Invent Farma has its origins in 2004, when Icelandic pharmaceutical entrepreneur Fridrik Steinn Kristjánsson bought industrial assets from the former Catalan group Vita. Kristjánsson divested most of his stake in 2013 in favour of Icelandic funds.
The laboratory manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients in Castellbisbal (Vallès Occidental) for its own products and for third parties; its customers include European and Japanese pharmaceutical companies.
In recent years, Invent Farma, which employs 430 people, has specialised in niche products, particularly in the respiratory and ophthalmology fields. The company made the leap to the United States in 2015, when it set up its first subsidiary in New Jersey. The subsidiary is focused solely on commercial functions.
The Knuth family, founder and owner of Palex, has decided to sell a majority stake in the healthcare technology group to a private equity fund. Corpfin. The aim of the operation is for Palex to gain financial muscle to embark on a new phase of growth by acquiring companies in the sector and diversifying its business lines. Palex already has several acquisitions on the table and will now rely on Corpfin Capital's expertise in integration and build-up processes.
Headquartered in Sant Cugat del Vallès and with a workforce of 300, the healthcare technology and supplies group operates through ten divisions and markets the products of more than 400 international companies. Palex Medical, which does not manufacture, is particularly strong in technology and instruments for cardiac surgery, such as valves and pacemakers. Orthopaedic surgery is another of its business pillars, along with diagnostics and nephrology. Its star products include a device that allows dialysis to be performed at the patient's home and Oncotype, a predictive test for breast cancer. Werfen, also from Catalonia, is one of its main competitors.
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