Boxes of Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy slimming drug in Oslo, Norway, November 21, 2023.
Victoria Klesty | Reuters
Danish pharmacist Novo NordiskIts parent company, Novo Holdings, said on Monday it would do so get drug manufacturer Catalent in a $16.5 billion deal that could help enhance the supply the extremely popular Wegovy weight loss injection and Ozempic diabetes vaccine.
Catalent is its main supplier filling-finish workwhich includes filling and packing syringes and injection pens, for Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy.
Novo Nordisk will then buy three of Catalent’s manufacturing facilities from Novo Holdings for $11 billion. Novo Holdings owns almost 77% of the voting shares in Novo Nordisk.
Novo Nordisk and Novo Holdings said they expect the acquisition of the factories and the broader deal to buy Catalent to close in late 2024.
Novo Nordisk added that it expects its purchase to gradually help increase its filling capacity from 2026. The company has already signed contracts with the three plants, which are located in Italy, Belgium and Bloomington, Indiana.
Catalent shares closed more than 9% higher on Monday after the deal was announced. The company’s market value is around $10 billion. Novo Nordisk stock closed about 4% higher, with a market value of about $407 billion.
Shares in Novo Nordisk jumped nearly 53% last year as Wegovy and Ozempic soared — and fell into short supply — because of their ability to help patients lose significant weight over time.
The Catalent deal is the company’s latest effort to boost its drug production capacity as it faces competition from Eli Lilly and other emerging competitors in the weight loss drug market.
Last year, the company announced plans to invest in new production facilities in Denmark and France. Novo Nordisk also said last week that it has more than doubled the number of initial doses of Wegovy it ships to the US, allowing more patients to start treatment.
Under the terms of the deal, Novo Holdings will buy Catalent for $63.50 per share in cash, a 16.5% premium to Catalent’s closing price on Friday.
The deal to buy Catalent has the backing of activist investor Elliott Investment Management, which has a stake in the US company, according to Novo Holdings.
Specifically, some of Catalent’s factories that manufacture Wegovy have been linked to regulatory problems in the past. Reuters mentionted in July that Catalent’s Brussels factory that fills Wegovy pens had repeatedly violated US safety rules for sterilization in recent years and that staff had failed to carry out required quality checks.
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