UPDATE 2-Drugmaker Patheon enters Mexico with Banner acquisition

Mon Oct 29, 2012 5:18pm EDT
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Oct 29 (Reuters) - Contract drugmaker Patheon Inc will buy Banner Pharmacaps, which focuses on gelatin-based oral drug delivery technology, for $255 million, to expand its presence in the over-the-counter market and gain a foothold in Mexico.

North Carolina-based Banner, a unit of Dutch food products company Vion NV, makes easy-to-swallow soft-gelatin capsules, tablets and chewable gels that drug firms use to coat their over-the-counter and nutritional drugs. It has labs and manufacturing plants in the Netherlands, Canada and Mexico.

"(Banner) expands our geographic presence. It gives us ... a direct-to-market business in Mexico and some of the other Latin American countries," CEO James Mullen told Reuters.

Patheon finds South America and the emerging economies more attractive and volume driven than North America and Europe, said Mullen, who took over as the CEO last February.

"We are certainly interested in India and China as well," he said from Durham, North Carolina.

Patheon, which provides contract development and manufacturing services to pharmaceutical companies, said on Monday its full-year revenue would now be between $740 million and $745 million. It had earlier forecast revenue of more than $735 million.

The deal, Patheon's first in the soft-gel drug delivery market, will also help the company cross the $1 billion revenue mark, the CEO said.

"On a pro forma basis, we will be there at the end of 2012, but certainly 2013 on a full-year basis as a combined company, we should exceed $1 billion in revenue."   Continued...