Novasep, French pharma-services company, is on the block

  • France’s Strategic Growth Fund, now part of Bpifrance, led recap of company in March 2012
  • Alcami posted 2017 Ebitda of 29 mln euro
  • Another CDMO on the auction block: Ares-backed Alcami

Novasep, the French provider of contract manufacturing and development services for drugmakers and chemicals companies, is exploring a sale, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The Lyon company is working with Lazard on a sales process, the people said.

The process comes about six years after France’s Strategic Investment Fund, Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement, led a 310 million euro recap of Novasep alongside existing investor Azulis Capital, a French investment firm.

The company is now backed by the French government institution Bpifrance, which was created in December 2012 through the merger of sovereign funds FSI, OSEO and CDC Enterprises.

Previous investors include Gilde Buy Out Partners BV and Banexi Capital, which in 2006 were part of a consortium that bought Novasep via a corporate carveout from Rockwood Holdings. The deal valued Novasep at about 425 million euros at the time.

Novasep in 2017 generated 29 million euros ($35 million) in Ebitda on 282 million euros in sales, the company said in a April 25 announcement.

Founded in 1998, Novasep develops and makes small-molecule active ingredients for pharma companies, chemicals and intermediates for the fine-chemicals and agrichemical industries, as well as large molecules for the biopharma industry.

As part of its process solutions segments, outsourced offerings include equipment supply and engineering services for the food/feed industry and bio-based chemical industries. It also provides chromatography and filtration equipment serving the pharmaceutical industry.

Michel Spagnol leads the company as chairman and CEO. The company has R&D, engineering and manufacturing facilities across Europe and Asia and U.S. headquarters in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania.

The process comes as one of Novasep’s U.S.-based peers in the CDMO segment simultaneously undergoes a sales process. Alcami, backed by Ares Capital’s credit arm, is in the midst of a William Blair-run auction process, Buyouts reported earlier this month.

Representatives of Lazard and Novasep declined to comment, while Bpifrance didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Action Item: Read more about the Alcami auction

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