CDMO Vectura Plans To Recommend $1.5-Bn Bid for the Company

By Patricia Van Arnum - DCAT Editorial Director

August 12, 2021

The Board of Vectura Group, a Chippenham, UK-based provider of inhaled drug-delivery services, plans to recommend to its shareholders to accept a £1.1 billion ($1.52 billion) bid for the company from Philip Morris International (PMI), a cigarette and tobacco producer.

Vectura had been evaluating competing bids for the company from The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm, and PMI.

Last month (July 2021), PMI reached an agreement with the board of Vectura Group on the terms of an all-cash, recommended offer to acquire Vectura for an enterprise value of £852 million ($1.2 billion). The agreement followed an earlier offer for Vectura in May (May 2021) from Murano Bidco Limited, indirectly controlled by funds managed by The Carlyle Group.

Both companies later submitted revised bids for Vectura. The Carlyle Group increased its cash offer to 155 pence per Vectura share, as announced on August 6, 2021. On August 8, 2021, the board of PMI further increased its cash offer to 165 pence per Vectura share. The Carlyle Group said it would not further raise its bid, which then precluded a potential auction for Vectura between the two companies.

For PMI, the pending acquisition would be part of the company’s “Beyond Nicotine” strategy, announced in February (February 2021), which set a goal to generate more than 50% of total net revenues (at least $1 billion) from smoke-free products by 2025. The proposed acquisition of Vectura seeks to leverage PMI's expertise in inhalation and aerosolization into adjacent areas, including respiratory drug delivery and selfcare wellness.

In keeping with its “beyond nicotine” strategy, this week (August 9, 2021), PMI announced that it had acquired OtiTopic, a respiratory drug-development company with a late-stage inhalable acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) treatment for acute myocardial infarction. The product is a patented, dry-powder inhalation of ASA delivered through a self-administered aerosol. PMI says it expects the drug to move from clinical trials to filing with the US Food and Drug Administration for approval in 2022.

Source: Vectura Group and Philip Morris (OtiTopic)