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WACKER purchases ADL BioPharma in Spain, strengthening its biotechnology business

May 9, 2023

The WACKER chemical group, headquartered in Munich, has acquired 100% of the shares of contract manufacturing company (CMO) ADL BioPharma. The shares were purchased from Kartesia, a financial investor with whom WACKER signed a corresponding agreement finalizing the transaction last week.

Following WACKER’s purchase of fermentation assets in the northern Spanish city of León in 2016, the chemical group now owns the entire site. The acquisition of the company, employing a staff of roughly 300, expands WACKER’s fermentation capacities by approximately 2,000m3 (gross volume) and adds additional capacities for recovery and purification processes. WACKER will continue and grow existing customer relationships maintained by ADL BioPharma in its capacity as CMO for fermentation-based products for the food, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries. The purchase price for the acquisition exceeds €100 million.

“Acquiring ADL BioPharma is an important step in the continued growth of our biotechnology business, with which we expect to generate €1 billion in sales in 2030,” commented WACKER’s CEO Christian Hartel, explaining the reasons for the investment. “Development at ADL BioPharma has been very good in recent years, and their sales have grown considerably. The additional fermentation capacities will provide a foundation for growth in the field of sustainably produced dietary ingredients. WACKER’s technological expertise combined with the capacities of ADL BioPharma will make us a much stronger player on this growth market.”

WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, the life science business of the WACKER Group, has operated fermentation plants at the León site for the past seven years. In 2016, WACKER acquired from ADL BioPharma production assets with a fermentation capacity of 800m3 (gross volume). WACKER has since produced fermentation-based cystine in León, offering its services as a contract manufacturing organization. Following this acquisition, the Munich-based chemical group upgraded the existing facilities and invested in additional production equipment. The company also created some 60 new jobs at the site, quadrupling the number of employees.

The acquisition of ADL BioPharma now makes WACKER owner of the entire plant, with total fermentation capacities of just under 3,000m3 (gross volume). “ADL BioPharma’s CMO business is a very good fit for our portfolio," added Susanne Leonhartsberger, Head of the WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS business division, outlining the plans that WACKER has for the site. "The company maintains extensive, extraordinarily important customer relationships that we will continue to pursue and expand still further. We will integrate these activities into WACKER BIOSOLUTIONS, for example through the production of sustainable ingredients for the foods and nutritional supplements industries. This is an area where we foresee opportunities for growth at the León site in the coming years. We are happy to welcome our new colleagues into the company and plan to work with them on the continuous expansion of our business.”

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