Cigarette company Philip Morris to acquire British pharma company Vectura

US-based cigarette company Philip Morris International (PMI) has offered to acquire British pharma company Vectura Group plc for about £852 million ($1.2 billion) in cash, in a move to accelerate its Beyond Nicotine strategy.

As per the terms of the deal agreed with Vectura Group’s board, the company’s shareholders will be paid 150 pence per share. The offer from the cigarette company is more than the previously offered 136 pence per share bid submitted by investment firm Carlyle Group to the British firm.

Vectura Group provides inhaled drug delivery solutions for enabling its partners to bring their medicines to patients. The British pharma company has 13 key inhaled and 11 non inhaled products marketed by top global pharma partners, apart from a diverse portfolio of partnerships for drugs, which are in clinical development.

Last year, Vectura Group registered net revenues of £191 million ($245 million).

Cigarette company Philip Morris to acquire British pharma company Vectura Group for $1.2bn

Cigarette company Philip Morris to acquire British pharma company Vectura Group for $1.2bn. Photo courtesy of PHILIP MORRIS PRODUCTS S.A.

Jacek Olczak – CEO of Philip Morris International said: “PMI’s Beyond Nicotine strategy, announced in February, articulates a clear ambition to leverage our expertise in inhalation and aerosolization into adjacent areas—including respiratory drug delivery and selfcare wellness—with a goal to reach at least USD 1 billion in net revenues by 2025.

“The acquisition of Vectura, following the recently announced agreement to acquire Fertin Pharma, will position us to accelerate this journey by expanding our capabilities in innovative inhaled and oral product formulations in order to deliver long-term growth and returns.”

Philip Morris International said through the acquisition, it gets access to differentiated proprietary technology and pharma development expertise for delivering a wide variety of complex inhaled therapies.

Besides, Vectura Group will help the cigarette company add highly complementary human capital, high quality infrastructure, drug/device combination, deep expertise of inhalable formulation and device design development and analysis, and pharma management processes and systems.

The acquisition is in line with Philip Morris International’s announcement in February 2021 of aiming to see over 50% of its total net revenue to be generated from smoke-free products by the year 2025.

Bruno Angelici – Vectura Group chairman said: “The acquisition by PMI recognises Vectura’s differentiated technologies, skills and expertise in inhalation and the continued development and supply of important medicines to patients.

“We recognise the material increase in the price offered to Shareholders under the Acquisition when compared with the Carlyle Offer and have accordingly recommended the Acquisition to Shareholders.

“The Acquisition will provide our people with the opportunity to form the backbone of an autonomous inhaled therapeutic business unit of PMI, helping develop products to improve patients’ lives and address unmet medical needs.”

Earlier this month, Philip Morris International signed a DKK 5.1 billion ($820 million) deal with EQT and Bagger-Sørensen & Co. to acquire Denmark-based Fertin Pharma, a developer and manufacturer of pharma and well-being products based on oral and intra-oral delivery systems.

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