Cinven buys Mercury Pharma for £465m

The deal is a part of Mercury's drive to refocus on its core pharmaceutical products.

New Statesman
A change of prescription for the UK-based Mercury Pharma. Credit: Getty Images

The European private equity firm Cinven has acquired the UK-based Mercury Pharma Group from HgCapital, for an enterprise value of £465m. The deal is expected to close by the end of August.

Headquartered in Surrey, Mercury has operational bases in the UK, Ireland and India. The company has a portfolio of products including those for anaesthesia, anti-psychotic care, arthritis, cardiovascular issues, critical and emergency care, joints and muscles, pain and pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Following the sale, 20 per cent of invested capital will have been realised by the HgCapital 2009 vintage fund, HgCapital 6.

Philipp Schwalber, head of the health-care team at HgCapital, said:

Mercury Pharma is the first exit for HgCapital 6, the second realisation by HgCapital’s health-care team in the last two years, and the most recent in a long line of public-to-private success stories for HgCapital. We initially identified the speciality pharmaceutical niche in 2007 and tracked Mercury Pharma for a number of years before launching our public-to-private offer in 2009.

Lisa Stone, a partner in portfolio management team at HgCapital, said: 

The success of Mercury Pharma is a terrific example of HgCapital’s commitment to building robust, healthy and growing businesses. All the hard work from Philipp and the management team, in refocusing the business and investing in growth, has paid off, enabling us to deliver a great result for clients in a challenging market.

John Beighton, CEO of Mercury Pharma, said:

In the past two years, the Mercury business has been streamlined to refocus on its core specialty pharmaceutical products. We have a well-diversified product range with high barriers to entry and are investing in creating a pipeline of similarly specialist medicines.  Our 15 new products launched in 2011/12 are already starting to show earnings momentum and we have a strong product pipeline. Despite the current economic environment, our products and company are extremely well positioned.

Jefferies International advised HgCapital on this transaction.