United Drug purchases two US companies for €32m

Irish healthcare services group United Drug has continued its busy summer of acquisitions by purchasing two US-based companies for a combined consideration of up to $40 million (€32m).

The Dublin-headquartered group has added to its sales, marketing and medical division with the purchase of two North Carolina-based companies — Drug Safety Alliance (DSA) for up to $28m and Synopia — which provides market access services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturers in the US — for a total consideration of $12m.

Regarding the latter, $3.2m is payable, in cash, on completion and additional payments of up to $8.8m will be payable after three years if agreed profit targets are reached. Similarly, United will pay an initial $21m for DSA, with the remainder again due after three-years of agreed profit targets are reached.

Synopia accelerates the access and positioning of medicines in the payer market; and ownership of the company will — according to United chief executive Liam FitzGerald — form an important part of the group’s growing US sales, marketing and medical business.

“Along with our other recent acquisitions, this transaction extends our position and reputation as an international provider of outsourced services to life science companies. The Synopia acquisition further enhances our ability to provide a broad range of high quality, value-added services for our international clients,” he added.

DSA, however, marks the larger of the two transactions and complements United’s existing US medical information business — allowing it to offer clients an integrated call centre and case processing service.

Both deals are expected to be immediately accretive to United’s earnings and will be financed from the group’s internal resources and existing debt facilities.

The two deals also bring to five the total number of acquisitions United Drug has made this summer; committing itself to an overall spend of around $140m. Davy Stockbrokers said, yesterday, the group’s spending sends a strong signal to the market it intends to become a much larger global player.


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