Private equity firms to acquire Albany pharmaceutical company

Company: Local operations to continue as they are
AMRI is headquartered in Albany.
AMRI is headquartered in Albany.

ALBANY — Albany Molecular Research Inc. announced Tuesday it has agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms.

The pharmaceutical company’s board of directors unanimously approved the deal with Carlyle Group and GTCR and recommended that AMRI stockholders do the same.

Asked if the acquisition would lead to cuts at its two local facilities, which employ a total of 680 people, AMRI spokeswoman Patty Eisenhaur said the plan is for AMRI to continue as it is and continue its work.

“GTCR and Carlyle’s plans for the business focus on growth rather than restructuring or divestitures,” she said. “As part of the transaction, both firms have committed to invest in our business, which will allow AMRI to accelerate its growth strategy and will be instrumental to AMRI delivering world-class solutions to customers. The acquisition is expected  to have no impact on our long-term strategy of becoming a leader in contract development and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.”

Eisenhaur said the current executive team would continue to run and manage AMRI.

The deal values AMRI stock at $21.75 per share, which is 61 percent higher than its closing value on April 5 and 42 percent higher than the 60-day weighted average leading up to April 5 — the last trading date before published accounts surfaced that AMRI was in talks to be acquired.

AMRI is a global pharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing company. It is headquartered in Albany and has its largest facility in East Greenbush; it had 26 other facilities and 3,085 employees worldwide as of Dec. 31. A little less than half of its workforce — 1,392 people — is in the United States. It has 315 employees in Albany and 365 in East Greenbush.

AMRI was incorporated in 1991 and has a few key business segments: discovery and development services; active pharmaceutical ingredients; drug products; and fine chemicals.

It made a series of corporate acquisitions in 2014-16 and accrued some long-term debt in the process. It reported a $70.2 million loss for 2016 and much smaller losses in 2015, 2014 and 2012.

The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $162 billion of assets under management across 287 investment vehicles as of March 31. It employs more than 1,550 people in 31 offices across six continents. GTCR is a private equity firm focused on investing in growth companies in the financial services and technology, healthcare, technology, media/telecommunications and growth business services industries. It has invested more than $12 billion in over 200 companies. 

William S. Marth, president and CEO of AMRI, said in a news release Tuesday: “This transaction is a strong endorsement of our strategy. Given their deep healthcare industry expertise and financial resources, Carlyle and GTCR are highly attractive partners for us and offer a compelling opportunity to accelerate our growth and enhance delivery of world-class solutions to our customers.”

AMRI expects a special meeting to be held for its stockholders to vote on the acquisition in the third quarter of this year and expects the deal to be finalized shortly thereafter, if stockholders approve.

AMRI stock closed at $21.53 Tuesday in extremely heavy trading on the NASDAQ exchange. It has ranged from $12.51 to $22.17 over the past year.

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