With the acquisition, PMI will get access to technology and pharmaceutical development expertise to deliver complex inhaled therapies


Philip Morris to acquire Vectura. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic from Pixabay.)

Philip Morris International (PMI) has made an all-cash offer with the board of Vectura Group to acquire the company for an enterprise value of £852m.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vectura shareholders are eligible to receive 150 pence per share, indicating a 46% premium to its closing price of 103 pence, as of 25 May 2021.

Vectura makes inhaled drug delivery solutions and has 13 key inhaled and 11 non inhaled products, marketed by global pharmaceutical partners.

The announcement follows PMI’s recent agreement to acquire Denmark-based Fertin Pharma for an enterprise value of DKK5.1bn ($820m).

PMI intends to fund the transaction with cash in hand, which is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory and shareholders’ approval.

PMI CEO Jacek Olczak said: “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 self-care 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.”

“The market for inhaled therapeutics is large and growing rapidly, with significant potential for expansion into new application areas.”

With the acquisition, PMI will obtain access to technology and pharmaceutical development expertise to deliver a wide range of complex inhaled therapies.

Vectura would add complementary human capital, technology, infrastructure, and deep know-how of inhalable formulation, device design, development and analysis capabilities.

Also, PMI will benefit from Vectura’s experienced management team and more than 200 scientists in formulation, devices, inhalation, regulatory teams, and clinical manufacturing.

PMI will leverage its existing capabilities in life sciences, product innovation, and clinical expertise together with Vectura.

Together, the companies are expected to create a pipeline of products across the prescription drug and over-the-counter (OTC) categories.

PMI chief life sciences officer Jorge Insuasty said: “We are thrilled by today’s announcement and the prospect that Vectura will be joining the PMI family as an autonomous business unit, forming the backbone of our ‘Beyond Nicotine’ inhaled therapeutic business.

“The proposed acquisition will significantly accelerate our development efforts. With the addition of Vectura’s expertise in the inhaled therapeutics space, PMI and Vectura will have the opportunity to undertake together the development and eventual commercialisation of innovative inhalable drug/device combinations.”