Irish biotech player acquires UK R&D firm


14 Jan 2005

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Dublin-based biotech pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) player Alltracel has bought the entire share capital of a London-based product development firm for €8m in a cash and stock offer. The acquisition of Westone Products is predicted by analysts to enable Alltracel to achieve top-line revenues of €21m for 2005.

The decision to acquire Westone followed an EGM at Westone and the subsequent re-admission of the company’s share capital on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) for purchase by Alltracel.

Alltracel Pharmaceuticals is a brand-focused, market driven, bio-pharmaceutical R&D company specialising in polysaccharides manipulation for the medical device and food ingredient markets. Headquartered in Dublin and with an R&D subsidiary in the Czech Republic, Alltracel was founded in 1996 and listed on London’s AIM in July 2001. The company’s key product, M.doc, it targeted at two major markets: the wound care market and the cholesterol management market. The latest acquisition will open the company up to major opportunities in the dental and oral health market.

Alltracel’s marketing and brand development skills and experience will be applied to the existing Westone dental and oral care product portfolio and business development model; while the enlarged group will benefit from an enhanced product development capability particularly for the professional/specialist wound care, oral care and cholesterol control markets.

Alltracel now has access to a series of process patents in the oral care market as well as to a modern manufacturing and packaging plant in Shenzhen, China and its associated low-cost sourcing capability. Alltracel’s chief operation officer Donal O’Brien will assume operational responsibility for Westone at its joint venture in Shenzhen and is supervising the integration process with immediate effect.

Commenting on the successful completion of this Acquisition, Alltracel CEO Tony Richardson said: “The combination of Alltracel and Westone delivers a solid platform for expanding the m.doc brand, and an enhanced capability to bring new products to market in the wound care, oral care and cholesterol management markets.”

By John Kennedy