Carlyle to Buy Drugmaker Vectura for $1.4 Billion in Cash

Carlyle Group Inc. agreed to buy Vectura Group Plc for about 958 million pounds ($1.4 billion) in cash to boost the U.K. drugmaker’s transformation.

The private equity firm offered 136 pence in cash as well as a 19-pence cash dividend for each Vectura share held, the companies said in a statement. The offer represents a 27% premium to Vectura’s Tuesday closing price. The stock surged as much as 31% in London trading Wednesday.

Carlyle aims to speed Vectura’s expansion as the company turns itself into a maker of inhaled therapies for others in the industry. Vectura is working on a Covid-19 medicine, among others.

“Under Carlyle’s ownership, Vectura will be able to accelerate its transformation significantly with greater access to capital and the support of our long experience in the sector,” said Simon Dingemans, a managing director at Carlyle’s European buyout advisory group.

The board of the Wiltshire, England-based company backed the offer. The deal will likely close in the third quarter if it gets the needed clearances, according to Carlyle. Vectura said in a separate statement it expects revenues from contract, development, and manufacturing to more than triple this year as it clinches more deals.

The drugmaker works with partners including Bayer AG and Novartis AG to developed inhaled medicines. “Vectura is one of the few companies globally with the device, formulation and development capabilities to deliver a broad range of complex inhaled therapies,” the companies said in the statement.

Carlyle made the bid through a company registered in England and controlled by its Carlyle Europe Partners V Fund. JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Rothschild & Co. advised Vectura. Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets acted as Carlyle’s advisers.

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