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Webcast: M&A Back on Table at Catalent

Published: June 22nd, 2020
'We are looking at a lot of different opportunities,' Catalent general counsel Steven Fasman said during The Deal's Covid-19 webcast on Thursday.

After hitting the pause button on its M&A efforts at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, drug development and delivery technology company Catalent Inc. (CTLT) has resumed its hunt for acquisition opportunities.

“M&A is definitely back on the table as evidenced by our announcement this morning,” Catalent senior vice president and general counsel Steven Fasman said during The Deal’s “Funding Innovation: Building the Next Generation of Companies During a Pandemic” webcast on Thursday, June 11.

Fasman was referring to Catalent’s announcement hours earlier on the pricing of a stock offering, which is expected to result in gross proceeds of about $550 million, before deducting estimated offering costs.

Somerset, N.J.-based Catalent said it plans to use the net proceeds to fully repay the $200 million of outstanding borrowings under the revolving credit facility under its senior secured credit facilities and for general corporate purposes, which may include working capital and capital expenditures, as well as organic investments and potential future acquisitions.

“We are looking at a lot of different opportunities,” Fasman said on the webcast, which was moderated by The Deal senior reporter Steve Gelsi.

Catalent’s recent M&A activity includes its $1.2 billion purchase of Paragon Bioservices Inc. completed in May 2019 and its $315 million acquisition of MaSTherCell Global Inc. completed in February.

Catalent is “looking at things actively,” Fasman said.

The company tends to buy manufacturing operations and one thing that’s tricky about that going forward in the current environment is getting to view the facility in operation, he said. “We are still working through that and how we will address those issues,” he said.

The due diligence process is, in some sense, more intense now, Fasman said. Because the process is done remotely, one has to ask more questions and look deeper into things, he said.

“You don’t want to leave anything to chance in an environment like this,” he said.

Others, too, are taking more time with evaluating opportunities.

Healthcare investor Daniel Haders, managing director of digital health at accelerator Nex Cubed, said the firm has redoubled its due diligence efforts.

“We’re double dotting our I’s and double crossing our T’s, so to speak,” Haders said, later adding, “You can’t just be investing in companies that can survive Covid, but you have to focus on companies that can now survive and thrive during Covid.”

He said Nex Cubed is making investments, but “it is taking quite a bit longer.”

Michael Greeley, co-founder and general partner of healthcare technology venture capital firm Flare Capital Partners Inc., said the firm’s investment strategy, “we think, is more relevant today than it was three months ago.”

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