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Philip Morris International to acquire inhaled drug company Vectura for $1.2bn

Vectura is developing inhaled drug delivery solutions for a number of diseases including COVID-19

Multinational cigarette and tobacco manufacturing company Philip Morris International has announced a deal to acquire UK-headquartered inhaled-drug company Vectura for $1.2 bn.

Philip Morris International (PMI), which owns a number of cigarette brands including Marlboro, has been investing in selected companies in a bid to move away from its core tobacco business.

Earlier this year, PMI announced that it aims to generate over 50% of its total net revenue from smoke-free products by 2025. The company also aims to generate at least $1bn in net revenues by 2025 from its ‘beyond nicotine’ products.

PMI recently announced an agreement to acquire Fertin Pharma, a developer of pharmaceutical and well-being products based on oral and intra-oral delivery systems.

Fertin Pharma marks another move beyond its core tobacco products for PMI, with its portfolio of nicotine gums, pouches and liquefiable tablets.

“PMI’s Beyond Nicotine strategy, announced in February, articulates a clear ambition to leverage our expertise in inhalation and aerosolisation 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,” said Jacek Olczak (pictured above), chief executive officer of PMI.

“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,” he added.

Vectura, which is developing inhaled drug delivery solutions for a number of diseases – including COVID-19 – previously received another acquisition offer from private equity group Carlyle in May.

However, the company’s board has withdrawn support for the Carlyle offer after receiving the higher offer from PMI.

“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,” said Bruno Angelici, chairman of Vectura.

“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,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

12th July 2021

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