Novo A/S acquires Xellia Pharmaceuticals for US$ 700 million

07:29 EDT 21 May 2013 | BioPortfolio

Novo      Xellia
Xellia is a leading developer and manufacturer of anti-infective therapies for multi-drug resistant infections. With this acquisition Novo expands its long-term investment portfolio with a further major life-science company in Denmark and will contribute to the future growth of Xellia.

Oslo, Norway and Copenhagen, Denmark, May 21 2013 – Xellia Pharmaceuticals (“Xellia”), a pharmaceutical group focusing on the development, manufacturing and global commercialization of anti-infective therapies, announced today that Novo A/S (“Novo”), the holding company of the Novo Group, has purchased all shares of the group for approximately US$ 700 million from 3i and other current shareholders. As a consequence of the transaction, Xellia will revert to Danish ownership with headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Since its spin-out from Alpharma Inc. in 2008, Xellia’s management and international investor 3i have successfully transformed the business from an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer to a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on anti-infective products. Xellia’s life-saving anti-infective products for multi-drug resistant infections address a growing global medical challenge, and the Company is a world leading supplier of Vancomycin and Colistimethate Sodium (CMS). Xellia’s products are all manufactured using fermentation-based biological processes at facilities located in Denmark, Norway, Hungary and China.
Xellia’s strategy for future growth is rooted in its leading product development competences, extensive manufacturing expertise and strong commercial partnerships. Over the past years, Xellia has built a substantial pipeline of generic anti-infective treatments, which will be advanced towards commercialization in the coming years. Novo’s investment will allow Xellia to enhance its focus on R&D and expand its global manufacturing footprint to further scale its finished-dosage-form (FDF) business.
Novo is a significant international life science investor, and the major shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S, Novozymes A/S and Chr. Hansen Holding A/S. These companies, which have similar technology and manufacturing approaches to Xellia, are global leaders in many of the business segments in which they operate, and have experienced significant growth in recent years. As such, Novo is well positioned to support the continued growth of Xellia through its experience and long-term investment focus.
Carl-Åke Carlsson, CEO, Xellia said: “When the management team bought out Xellia in 2008, we had ambitious plans, which we were able to implement with 3i’s support, expertise and commitment.  We have successfully transitioned the business in order to become a world leader in the supply of certain anti-infective products. Now, as we focus on the future and the further development of the business, including the launch of our novel antibiotics pipeline, we look forward to working with Novo and benefitting from their expertise in the life science sector.”  He added, “Together with Novo we can strengthen the positive development that Xellia has achieved over the past few years, and at the same time the investment by Novo will help accelerate our developments further.”
Henrik Gürtler, CEO, Novo A/S said: “Xellia strongly complements our portfolio of significant life science companies in which we have major investments. This acquisition is well aligned with our strategy, and is one of the largest investments made by Novo A/S to date. The products that Xellia supplies are critical life-saving treatments for many patients around the globe, and are manufactured by use of fermentation technologies, which is a manufacturing approach similar to that of Novo Nordisk, Novozymes and Chr. Hansen. Xellia is a leader in its business area, and a company with a long Scandinavian heritage, which we are proud to bring back into long-term Danish ownership. We look forward to establishing a strong relationship with Xellia’s experienced management team and invest together in the future success of the Company.”
Closing of the transaction will be subject to relevant competition law approvals, and is expected to take place during the third quarter of 2013. Kromann Reumert, Latham & Watkins, PwC, NNE Pharmaplan, NNIT and Moelis & Company, acted as advisors to Novo A/S.

- Ends -

For more information, please contact:
Xellia Pharmaceuticals

Carl-Åke Carlsson, CEO
Tel: +45 32 64 55 00

Novo A/S
Ulrik Spork; Managing Partner, Novo Growth Equity
Tel: +45 35 27 65 94

College Hill (Media relations – International (excl. Nordic region))
Melanie Toyne Sewell / Jen Lewis / Eileen Paul
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7457 2029 / +44 (0) 1260 296 505

Crux Communications (Media relations – Nordic region)
Lars Erik Lund / Jan Petter Stiff
Tel : +47 41 33 13 69 / +47 99 51 38 91
Email: /
About Xellia
Xellia Pharmaceuticals is a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on the global anti-infective market, with over 100 years of experience and expertise in the supply of fermented and semi-synthetic finished dose products and active pharmaceutical ingredients for life-saving therapies against serious infections. The Company has growing sales in more than 70 countries to over 700 customers across the healthcare industry and for the financial year ending December 31 2012 generated revenues of US$220 million. Currently headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Xellia has global facilities including operational and manufacturing capabilities in Denmark, Hungary and China, and currently employs 900 people, of which 400 are working in Denmark.

Xellia is a leading supplier of Vancomycin and Colistimethate Sodium (CMS) which together combat life-threatening, multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections across Gram-positive and Gram-negative species. Xellia is also developing novel antibiotics effective against MDR Gram-negative bacteria in a development project with SINTEF Materials and Chemistry (Trondheim) and the Statens Serum Institut (Copenhagen), supported by a  grant from the Research Council of Norway. Further information can be obtained at:

About Novo A/S
Novo A/S, the holding company in the Novo Group, is responsible for the management of the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which are currently valued at more than USD 30 billion.  Novo A/S is a private limited liability company fully owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.  Besides being the major shareholder in Novo Nordisk A/S and Novozymes A/S, Novo A/S provides seed and venture capital to development stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in well-established companies, within life science and biotechnology, as well as manages a broad portfolio of financial assets.
For further information visit

About 3i
3i is a leading international investor focused on mid-market private equity, infrastructure and debt management across Europe, Asia and the Americas. For further information, please visit


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