Astrea Bioseparations to Combine with Biotage AB, Creating Global Chromatography Leader
Menlo Park, CA – Gamma Biosciences (“Gamma”), a global life sciences platform formed by KKR to address the advanced therapy market with best-in-class bioprocessing solutions, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Swedish life sciences company Biotage AB (STO: BIOT) (“Biotage”), whereby Biotage will acquire Gamma’s operating company, Astrea Bioseparations (“Astrea”), in exchange for newly issued shares in Biotage, creating a global chromatography leader with an attractive mix of products and services across multiple end-markets globally.
Astrea supports drug developers and manufacturers in bringing high-purity biopharmaceuticals and advanced therapeutics to the market globally. The company supplies chromatography resins, adsorbents and columns as well as nanofiber-based purification technologies for biomanufacturing.
The combination extends Biotage’s chromatography franchise into the higher-growth and larger bioprocessing segment, increasing its exposure to biologics and advanced therapeutic customers. Astrea also strengthens Biotage’s financial profile through its highly accretive organic growth rate, attractive gross margins and significant exposure to recurring consumables-based revenues. In addition, the acquisition brings a rich, near-term pipeline of new product launches across chromatography resins, nanofiber-based membranes and columns.
“This move brings together two highly regarded and complementary businesses creating a differentiated player in the field of chromatography”, said Matt Gunnison, CEO of Gamma Biosciences. “Astrea is quickly becoming one of the leaders in its field with an incredible pipeline of innovation targeting advanced therapeutics. We are excited to join forces with the team at Biotage and leverage the strong foundation that they’ve established to rapidly grow these businesses together.”
Gamma Biosciences acquired Astrea (formerly Prometic Bioseparations Ltd) in late 2019 and has since grown the company into a leading global platform through organic investment and synergistic acquisitions.
“Biotage and Astrea have a strong alignment in terms of core values, market reach, and long-term growth potential, making this union a great fit for both sides. We are confident that by joining together we will create a powerful platform for innovation and success in the biopharmaceutical industry, and will further accelerate Astrea’s trajectory of rapid growth and expansion”, said Terry Pizzie, CEO of Astrea.
According to the terms of the deal, the enterprise value for Astrea consists of approximately $190M to be paid at closing in shares of Biotage stock, subject to any closing adjustments, and up to $45M in milestone-based cash payments following closing. As part of the acquisition, Gamma will make a capital injection of approximately $25M in Astrea. KKR-controlled Gamma, is expected to, following completion of the transaction, become the largest shareholder in Biotage, with approximately 17.0% of shares outstanding.
Tomas Blomquist, CEO and President at Biotage, said: “We are proud to welcome the Astrea Bioseparations team to Biotage. The acquisition represents an excellent strategic fit for Biotage, and it will add to us a high-growth company with a talented global team with decades of experience. It also scales our Biologics and Advanced Therapeutics business significantly, keeping us well-positioned for the future.”
“We are thrilled with this example of Gamma’s playbook for transforming promising next-generation bioprocessing companies into high-growth strategic assets, and we see significant potential for the combined Biotage platform, as well as the remaining assets within Gamma’s portfolio” said Kugan Sathiyanandarajah, Managing Director at KKR and Head of Europe for KKR’s Health Care Strategic Growth strategy, and Anuv Ratan, Director at KKR.
The transaction is conditional upon Biotage’s shareholder approval and subject to customary closing conditions.
About Gamma Biosciences
Gamma Biosciences is a life sciences platform created by KKR whose operating companies provide products and services to support the development and manufacturing of advanced biologic therapies. Our operating companies are committed to advancing the science and art of bioprocessing by delivering market-ready innovation and expertise to support customers, mainly biopharmaceutical developers and contract development and manufacturing companies, safely and efficiently bring therapies to patients.
About Astrea Bioseparations
Astrea Bioseparations is a leading provider of process chromatography solutions including columns, resins, and nanofiber purification technology for life sciences and other adjacent industries. With products used in the manufacture of >20 FDA approved treatments and a strong pipeline oriented towards purification of novel modalities, Astrea is trusted by scientists around the world to deliver rapid, reproducible results. Astrea Bio is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with manufacturing facilities at the Isle of Man, Gloucestershire, UK, Joliette, Quebec and Massachusetts, USA.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that offers alternative asset management as well as capital markets and insurance solutions. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people and supporting growth in its portfolio companies and communities. KKR sponsors investment funds that invest in private equity, credit and real assets and has strategic partners that manage hedge funds. KKR’s insurance subsidiaries offer retirement, life and reinsurance products under the management of Global Atlantic Financial Group. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds and insurance subsidiaries. For additional information about KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com and on Twitter @KKR_Co.
Alastair Elwen / Sophia Johnston
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