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July 16, 2024

SK Bioscience to acquire German contract manufacturer IDT Biologika for W339b

PUBLISHED : June 27, 2024 - 17:13

UPDATED : June 27, 2024 - 17:13

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SK Bioscience CEO and President Ahn Jae-yong speaks during a press conference held in central Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

South Korean biotech firm SK Bioscience is to acquire the German CDMO-specializing company IDT Biologika at 339 billion won ($244 million) to further sharpen and diversify its pipeline for global markets.

IDT Biologika is among the top 10 global vaccine contract manufacturers, with a corporate value of some 656 billion won, according to SK Bioscience.

"We are confident that our comprehensive process development capacity, which we take immense pride in, will have high synergies with IDT's strong commercial capacity built over a century," SK Bioscience CEO and President Ahn Jae-yong said during a press conference upon the acquisition announcement Thursday.

"We will directly merge the software and hardware that the two companies have aggressively accumulated, while also strengthening our research and development capacity with IDT's combined manpower, thereby securing a core supply chain to respond to the next possible pandemic," Ahn added.

To acquire the controlling stake, SK Bioscience signed an agreement with Klocke Group, a German biopharmaceutical company that owns IDT Biologika. SK Bioscience will acquire 60 percent of IDT Biologika’s shares from Klocke Group.

The acquisition will position SK Bioscience as the largest shareholder of IDT Biologika, while Klocke Group will retain its 40 percent stake in IDT Biologika and secure 1.9 percent of SK Bioscience’s stake by investing some 76 billion won. As a result, SK Bioscience and Klocke Group will jointly operate IDT Biologika.

Founded in 1921, IDT Biologika has a track record of being recognized by more than 10 key medicines regulatory authorities worldwide, including in the US and Europe.

The company develops processes and analytical methods, as well as manufactures drug substances and drug products in vaccines and biologics from a clinical to a commercial scale, with its major clients including Janssen Biotech and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. IDT Biologika has built a solid business foundation as a key manufacturing partner for global pharmaceutical and biotech companies, employing approximately 1,800 people.

The deal marks the largest investment made in the history of the Korean vaccine industry, according to SK Bioscience.

"We urge our investors to view this deal not as a shift in SK Bioscience's role from a drug developer, but as an additional expansion into the CDMO business. For example, the pneumococcal vaccine currently being developed together with Sanofi could potentially be produced by IDT," the CEO added. "We felt the need to expand our plant capacity here, and by acquiring IDT Biologika, we have saved approximately five years or more of time to achieve such a need, thanks to IDT's most advanced-level plants."

Through the transaction, SK Bioscience expects to immediately double its revenue, secure a client network and production capabilities to meet the standards of developed countries, such as the US and Europe, and build an integrated infrastructure that connects multiple nations.

The firm also hopes to gradually expand its portfolio to develop and enter new bio businesses such as anti-cancer viruses and cell and gene therapy.

By Kim Hae-yeon (hykim@heraldcorp.com)

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