Cork company BioPharma Engineering acquired by global firm

11 Jan 2022

Clare Shepherd, Unispace COO, Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and John O'Reilly, BPE founder and managing director. Image: Unispace/BPE

Unispace’s merger with BioPharma Engineering will enable the Cork company to further its international expansion.

Cork-based life sciences design company BioPharma Engineering has been acquired by global workplace strategy, design and experience business Unispace.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Following the acquisition, BioPharma Engineering will become known as BPE, a Unispace Life Sciences company. It will continue to operate as a standalone business.

BioPharma Engineering, established in 2006, designs pharma facilities and has worked with seven of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies.

Unispace will support the Irish company’s continued expansion across key markets in the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Unispace, which has more than 48 offices in 26 countries worldwide, will also establish a centre of excellence in Ireland to grow its global life sciences business.

“Life sciences companies are challenged with expanding their footprint rapidly to meet skyrocketing demand,” said Steve Quick, CEO of Unispace. “Partnering with BPE is a natural move for us and will allow us to build on the work we have delivered to date for life sciences clients.”

Quick added that the move would bolster the company’s “unique model”, which “was created to design and deliver spaces that support people, innovation and business growth under today’s necessary yet radically compressed time frames”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister and Cork TD Simon Coveney welcomed the news. “Cork is already home to nine of the 10 of the world’s top life sciences companies, and the new Unispace Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences further solidifies the region as a globally renowned talent and competency hotspot for the pharma and medtech industries,” he said.

BioPharma Engineering’s managing director and founder, John O’Reilly, said that the company’s growth in the life sciences sector to date “has been highly successful” and he is “focused on accelerating this impressive growth”.

He added that the Unispace acquisition would ensure the company has “the resources, infrastructure and investment to expand globally and rapidly”.

BioPharma Engineering has a presence in Cork and Dublin, with a workforce of around 100 people after expanding in recent years. News of the acquisition was delivered to employees at a recent virtual company-wide event.

All BioPharma Engineering’s Irish management will stay in place and the company is actively hiring for more roles. Some of the roles on offer include I&C engineer, process design engineer and senior bioprocess engineer.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.