The Korea Herald


Celltrion drops $4b bid to acquire Baxter unit

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : May 9, 2023 - 16:20

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Celltrion's corporate logo (Celltrion) Celltrion's corporate logo (Celltrion)

Celltrion said Tuesday that the company decided not to acquire BioPharma Solutions, a leading provider of sterile contract manufacturing solutions owned by US-based medical device maker Baxter International.

“Celltrion reviewed the acquisition but decided not to make the investment,” an official from Celltrion said.

Celltrion’s announcement came after Baxter International's statement was released on Monday, in which the company said it signed a definitive agreement to divest the BioPharma Solutions business to private equity firms Advent International and Warburg Pincus.

Under the definitive agreement, Baxter will receive $4.25 billion in cash, with net after-tax proceeds currently estimated to be $3.4 billion, the US device maker said.

In March, Celltrion emerged as one of several competitors for the acquisition of BioPharma Solutions, through which Baxter International was expected to fetch more than $4 billion.

Other competitors reportedly included Thermo Fisher, a global supplier of scientific equipment, and private equity firms including KKR & Co and Carlyle Group.

Celltrion’s possible acquisition of BioPharma Solutions drew attention particularly after Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin hinted that the company will make new investments in mergers and acquisitions this year.

Celltrion Chairman Seo Jung-jin also said, “Baxter International first asked Celltrion to review the acquisition of BioPharma Solutions,” during a press conference held on March 28.

During the press conference in March, Seo said that the company will look for more M&A opportunities towards the end of the year. Seo then added that Celltrion has around 550 billion won ($416 million) in cash and cashable assets that it can use for M&As.

Celltrion’s acquisition of BioPharma Solutions was also expected to help the company’s ongoing efforts to increase its expansion in the US market.

Celltrion’s existing relationship with BioPharma Solutions had also contributed to the speculation. Previously, BioPharma Solutions produced Celltrion’s biosimilar monoclonal antibody Remsima under a contract manufacturing deal.

Celltrion, however, showed no additional activities for the acquisition, saying that nothing has been decided yet.