Riverside Acquires Pharma and Food Ingredients Biz from Ferrer

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The divestment of the pharma and food ingredients business is in line with Ferrer’s new strategy to focus on the core business of branded pharmaceuticals.

The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm, has acquired HealthTech BioActives (HTBA), a Spanish manufacturer of APIs, excipients, flavorings, and sweeteners for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic industries and a manufacturer of ingredients for human and animal feed, from Ferrer, an international pharmaceutical company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. The deal was announced on Dec. 13, 2019.

The deal includes a manufacturing plant located in Beniel (Murcia) dedicated to bioflavonoids and natural flavors, a plant in Sant Quirze (Barcelona) dedicated to animal nutrition, and a workshop located in Sant Cugat (Barcelona) dedicated to vitamin B12 derivatives. The transaction also includes 140 of HTBA’s employees, including its commercial team.

HBTA’s products are derived from citrus and vitamin B12 derivatives, and the company sells into more than 90 countries worldwide. In 2018, HBTA had total sales of EUR 51 million (US$57 million).

“We are looking forward to working with the already successful HTBA team,” said Riverside Partner Rafael Alvarez-Novoa in a company press release. “Some of our priorities when working with HTBA will be to focus on strengthening the commercial team and implement a sales excellence program to boost revenues, pursue new customers, and accelerate new product development.”

Riverside is attracted to the global market for these ingredients-based companies because of positive growth trends in nutraceuticals and food ingredients, particularly among mid-sized and smaller companies, which are boosted by changing consumer preferences towards more natural and healthier food, Riverside stated in its press release. Earlier this year, the company launched its own Flavor & Specialty Ingredient Industry Advisory Board comprised of specialty ingredient experts. The investment in HBTA comes on the heels of Riverside’s recent (early 2019) divesture of Euromed, a Spanish-based company engaged in the production of standardized botanical extracts and natural active substances for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplement industries.


“There is incredible potential in the flavor industry for us,” said Riverside Principal Damien Gaudin in the press release. “We’re excited to help accelerate HTBA’s new product development, driving sales and increasing its existing product portfolio during our hold.”

For Ferrer, which also recently divested its generics and immunotherapy divisions, the divestment of HBTA is another key step in its strategy to focus on its core business: the research, manufacturing, and commercialization of branded pharmaceutical products. The process of restructuring Ferrer’s assets began in 2018 under Mario Rovirosa, Ferrer’s CEO.

“We are very pleased to have reached this deal with Riverside,” said Rovirosa in the press release. “Not only does it reinforce our corporate strategy to focus on the branded pharma market, but it also offers a future of growth for HealthTech BioActives.”

Source: The Riverside Company