ALS acquires European testing business

On Wednesday, ALS announced the acquisition of an initial 49% interest in NUVISAN, a pharmaceutical testing business with operations in Germany and France.

Founded in 1979, NUVISAN is privately owned with over 1,000 employees and generated ~EUR185 million of revenue and ~EUR40 million of adjusted EBITDA in FY21. NUVISAN operates in contract research organisation (CRO) and contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) markets providing drug testing services throughout the pharmaceutical development cycle in the fast-growing outsourced market.

Strategic rationale

ALS’s acquisition strategy is primarily focused on growing its Life Sciences division in strategic Food and Pharmaceutical geographies and broadening its service offering.

NUVISAN represents an expansion of ALS’ Pharmaceutical offering into the drug development part of the supply chain which has a growing global market size of ~EUR154 billion. While aligning with ALS’ core focus on testing, this additional capability allows ALS to expand into new areas of the high-margin Pharmaceutical market.

The acquisition provides the platform for ALS to expand its offering from quality control testing into ‘upstream’ services in research and development which constitutes the majority of client spend. Growth of this area of the market is driven by major pharmaceutical companies outsourcing drug development research and CRO / CDMO testing due to increasing pricing pressure, lack of internal capability and expertise from external providers.

NUVISAN significantly expands ALS’ geographic footprint in Europe, particularly in the key markets of Germany and France. While the global ALS Life Sciences platform will support the expansion of NUVISAN’s service offering and geographic footprint into new markets.

Deal structure

ALS will initially acquire 49% of the equity in NUVISAN for consideration of ~EUR145 million. There is an exclusive ‘call’ option to acquire the remaining equity from 1 January 2024 which expires by 30 September 2026 at the latest. Should this option be exercised, the remaining 51% equity in NUVISAN will be acquired at 13x adjusted EBITDA based on the 12 months preceding the purchase.

Managing Director and CEO, Raj Naran commented “This is a significant expansion of our Life Sciences capability as we grow our presence in the strategically important Pharmaceutical market. This will allow us to move our service offering up the supply chain into drug development and research testing, which significantly expands our addressable markets. NUVISAN offers us a platform in the key markets of Germany and France which has long been an aspiration for our Life Sciences division.“