Focus Pharmaceuticals

Deal summary

Founded in 2003, Focus Pharmaceuticals (Focus) develops and licenses its own generic pharmaceuticals and sells third party generic and branded products.

In 2007, Mobeus Equity Partners supported management to buy out an original investor and provided additional capital to help accelerate product development with the aim of becoming the leading independent generic company focused on the UK market. Over the succeeding six years management executed their business plan and grew profits significantly. This resulted in the company receiving a number of unsolicited approaches. In late 2013, the shareholders decided to appoint an advisor to help them consider these approaches and prepare the business for a future sale process.

There were no time pressures driving a sale, however the team recognised external advice would help deliver an optimal outcome. Based on a long-held relationship with Catalyst, the shareholders asked us to advise them on the available options.

What difference did we make?

Following individual discussions with all the shareholders, and a thorough review of the business and market, we presented an assessment of the strategic options available including a trade sale, an IPO or a secondary management buy-out. As part of our assessment of a trade sale, we worked with our international partners to map the marketplace and pre-screen potentially interested buyers. This identified a small number of strong global strategic buyers who we believed would be excellent acquirers of the business. Therefore, a trade sale was judged to be the optimal solution to deliver the shareholders’ objectives. The preparatory process involved the identification and articulation of the key strengths of the business, in addition to the preparation of a detailed financial databook. During this phase we accelerated discussions with a couple of the strategic acquirers, recognising that for specific reasons unique to those buyers a sale in 2014 was desirable.

Being well advanced in the preparation stage meant we were able to share tailored information with each potential buyer, helping them fully appreciate the strategic fit. One of those parties was Amdipharm Mercury Company (AMCo) and our approach enabled them to make an offer over £50 million that, following negotiation, achieved the shareholders’ value aspirations and enabled the deal to be completed in a short space of time. The deal was a successful exit for the shareholders and will give the business continued growth opportunities, including introducing the Focus portfolio into AMCo’s international sales network. The management team remain committed to driving the future growth of Focus under AMCo’s ownership.

Being well advanced in the preparation stage we were able to share tailored information with each potential buyer, helping them fully appreciate the strategic fit. One of those parties was Amdipharm MercuryGroup (AMCo) and our approach enabled them to make an offer that, following negotiation, achieved the shareholders’ value aspirations and enabled the deal to be completed in a very short space of time.

The deal was a successful exit for the shareholders and will give the business continued growth opportunities, including introducing the Focus portfolio into AMCo’s international sales network. The management team remain committed to driving the future growth of Focus under AMCo’s ownership.

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What our client said
This was a great journey for us and without the invaluable advice, support and guidance from the Catalyst team, we would not have achieved such a fantastic outcome. Richard Grethe
Finance Director, Focus Pharmaceuticals