ONE of Britain’s fastest growing pharmaceutical companies was sold to a bigger rival last week, netting its owners a cool £306 million.
Amit Patel and his sister Meeta offloaded Auden Mckenzie Pharma to Actavis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, last Friday (23), in one of the biggest acquisitions involving British-Asian entrepreneurs.
The eye-catching deal took the industry by surprise when it was announced on Monday (25). Auden Mckenzie has been courted by a number of suitors over the years, and is a prize acquisition for Actavis, which now becomes Britain’s biggest generics company.
Under the terms of the agreement, in addition to the more than £300m in cash from the sale, the siblings will receive royalty payments over two years and adjustments for cash in the business. Patel, 39, will retain his extensive property portfolio.
It’s been a fast-paced journey for Patel, who founded Auden Mckenzie in 2000 with a £100,000 loan from his pharmacist father. Since then, the business has been one of the fastest-growing in the pharmaceutical industry, focusing on niche, hard-to-manufacture generic medicines.
The company gained a reputation for its product pipeline and bringing products to market in record time. At the time of acquisition, Auden Mckenzie had a portfolio of 175 products.
Patel expressed the hope that it would harness both companies’ entrepreneurial approach to developing medicines.
“We have worked very hard to bring the company to where it is. We have a wonderful portfolio of products, which a larger organisation with a global platform can further commercialise,” he said in an exclusive interview with Eastern Eye.
“We built this business in a very dynamic and entrepreneurial style and when you build something from scratch, you have an emotional attachment. So I was very keen the people who acquire these assets are equally dynamic and entrepreneurial.
“Actavis are probably the most dynamic and entrepreneurial company in all of global pharma,” he added.
For Actavis, the Auden Mckenzie deal comes less than a year after it agreed the $66 billion (£43.4bn) takeover of Allergen, the makers of Botox.
Talking about the deal, the Actavis CEO, Brent Sauders, said Auden Mckenzie was “one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the UK. The opportunity to combine this profitable and growing company into the Actavis UK business demonstrates our commitment to invest in and expand strategically in our global generics business.”
Bharat Shah, managing director of Sigma Pharmaceuticals, paid tribute to Patel’s entrepreneurialism and hard work.
“Amit Patel is one of the most focused entrepreneurs I have met. He has built his business against the odds, starting at a time when generics medicines were just becoming popular,” he said.
“His genius was to focus on smaller niche products which were hard to manufacture, while the others went for high volume, mass products. Amit knew how to position his products and turn them into major, high-value, much sought-after medicines.”
Asked about his plans for the future, Patel said he was looking forward to taking a holiday with his young family. But he added he would be looking at business opportunities in the near future.