Kühne Holding acquires pharmaceutical contract manufacturer Aenova from BC Partners

Photo: Domi­nik de Daniel, CEO of Kuehne Holding AG (© Kuehne Holding AG)
24. April 2024

Starnberg/ Munich / Schin­del­legi (Switz­er­land) — Kühne Holding AG has ente­red into a defi­ni­tive agree­ment to acquire the phar­maceu­ti­cal contract manu­fac­tu­rer Aenova Group from the leading inter­na­tio­nal invest­ment company BC Part­ners. As part of the tran­sac­tion, the funds advi­sed by BC Part­ners will reinvest along­side Kühne Holding AG and conti­nue to support Aenova as a mino­rity share­hol­der. The finan­cial terms were not disclosed.

The Aenova Group is one of the world’s leading CDMOs (Contract Deve­lo­p­ment and Manu­fac­tu­ring Orga­niza­ti­ons) in the phar­maceu­ti­cal and health­care indus­try. Head­quar­te­red in Starn­berg near Munich, the company employs around 4,000 people at 14 produc­tion sites world­wide and is a one-stop service provi­der for the deve­lo­p­ment, produc­tion and pack­a­ging of phar­maceu­ti­cals for phar­maceu­ti­cal compa­nies around the world. Under the owner­ship of BC Part­ners, the Aenova Group has deve­lo­ped into one of the ten largest CDMOs in the world. In 2023, Aenova achie­ved record results with pro forma sales of EUR 832 million, an increase of 17% compared to the previous year.

Kühne Holding AG, based in Schin­del­legi (Switz­er­land), bund­les the busi­ness inte­rests of Klaus-Michael Kühne. It has an entre­pre­neu­rial focus, holds a majo­rity stake in Kühne+Nagel Inter­na­tio­nal AG and is the largest single share­hol­der in Hapag-Lloyd AG, Deut­sche Luft­hansa AG and Brenn­tag SE.

Domi­nik de Daniel, CEO of Kühne Holding AGsaid: “With this invest­ment, we are taking an important stra­te­gic step to add health­care and phar­maceu­ti­cal compa­nies with a strong finan­cial base and long-term growth pros­pects to our invest­ment port­fo­lio. Aenova is on a very good path and we look forward to acce­le­ra­ting this further under our leadership.”

BC Part­ners utili­zed both the exten­sive origi­na­tion network of its Hamburg office and its exper­tise in the health­care sector to seize the oppor­tu­nity to invest in Aenova and acqui­red the company outside of an auction process. Health­care is one of BC Part­ners’ core sectors and its dedi­ca­ted health­care invest­ment team has inves­ted more than €6 billion in 21 health­care part­ner­ships since its inception.

Raymond Svider, Chair­man of BC Part­nersadded: “It has been a plea­sure working with Jan and the entire Aenova team. Toge­ther, we have posi­tio­ned the company as a global leader in contract manu­fac­tu­ring and estab­lished a solid foun­da­tion for future growth, with the company now bene­fiting from strong sales momen­tum, a record order back­log and favorable indus­try tail­winds. We are plea­sed that such an important German health­care company can conti­nue its growth trajec­tory under the stra­te­gic leader­ship of Kühne Holding AG. We have a long and successful history of working with fami­lies and foun­ders across Europe and look forward to working closely with Kühne Holding AG and Aenova in this next chap­ter of the company.”

This tran­sac­tion repres­ents another oppor­tu­nity for BC Part­ners’ funds to return signi­fi­cant capi­tal to inves­tors. BC Part­ners has comple­ted nine liqui­dity events in the last 12 months, gene­ra­ting EUR 8 billion in value for funds and co-inves­­tors advi­sed by BC Part­ners, inclu­ding exits of port­fo­lio compa­nies Presi­dio, Forno d’Asolo Group, IMA and PetSmart in the last six months alone.

“With the new owner­ship struc­ture, we will conti­nue to imple­ment our stra­tegy to make Aenova the leading CDMO with market-leading capa­bi­li­ties and inno­va­tive specialty tech­no­lo­gies in Europe. With its long-term invest­ment hori­zon, Kühne Holding AG is the perfect comple­ment for the company to support this stra­tegy. It enables us to conti­nue on the path of opera­tio­nal excel­lence in the conven­tio­nal produc­tion busi­ness while buil­ding highly sought-after tech­no­logy plat­forms and deve­lo­p­ment services to meet custo­mer demand in the future,” empha­si­zes Jan Kengel­bach, CEO of Aenova since 2018.

E3X Part­ners (“E3X”) has worked closely with Kühne Holding AG to struc­ture and execute the plan­ned acqui­si­tion. Martin Mix, Mana­ging Part­ner at E3X, an invest­ment and advi­sory firm, comm­ents: “Our part­ner­ship with Kühne Holding AG under­lines our stra­te­gic commit­ment to brin­ging toge­ther the right long-term part­ners to support Aenova’s growth.” Jan-Felix Stolz, Mana­ging Part­ner at E3X, adds: “Aenova has a high stra­te­gic rele­vance for the growing Euro­pean phar­maceu­ti­cal market and we are exci­ted about the company’s prospects.”

- BC Part­ners and Aenova were advi­sed by Jeffe­ries, Kirk­land & Ellis, L.E.K. and PwC.
- Kühne Holding AG and E3X Part­ners were advi­sed by Allen & Overy and EY.

The tran­sac­tion is subject to custo­mary closing condi­ti­ons and the appr­oval of the rele­vant merger control authorities.

About the Aenova Group

The Aenova Group is a leading global contract manu­fac­tu­rer and deve­lo­p­ment service provi­der for the phar­maceu­ti­cal and health­care indus­try. As a one-stop store, Aenova deve­lops, produ­ces and packa­ges all common dosage forms, product groups and active ingre­di­ent clas­ses from phar­maceu­ti­cals to food supple­ments for human and animal health: solid, semi-solid and liquid, sterile and non-sterile, high and low doses, OEB 1 to 5 (Occu­pa­tio­nal Expo­sure Band). Around 4,000 employees at 14 loca­ti­ons in Europe and the USA contri­bute to the company’s success. Further infor­ma­tion can be found at

About BC Partners

BC Part­ners is a leading invest­ment firm with more than EUR 40 billion in assets under manage­ment in the areas of private equity, private debt and real estate stra­te­gies. BC Part­ners was foun­ded in 1986 and has played an active role in the deve­lo­p­ment of the Euro­pean buy-out market for over three deca­des. Today, BC Part­ners’ inte­gra­ted trans­at­lan­tic invest­ment teams operate from offices in Europe and North America and are focu­sed on our four core sectors: TMT, Health­care, Services and Indus­tri­als, and Consu­mer. Since its incep­tion, BC Part­ners has made over 127 private equity invest­ments in compa­nies with a total value of over €160 billion and is curr­ently inves­t­ing its eleventh private equity buyout fund.

About E3X Partners

E3X Part­ners is an invest­ment and advi­sory firm specia­li­zing in long-term part­ner­ships with invest­ment holding compa­nies, family offices and busi­ness owners. We offer custo­mi­zed capi­tal solu­ti­ons and stra­te­gic advice in public and private markets with a focus on Europe. Our custo­mi­zed services include invest­ment sourcing, tran­sac­tion execu­tion, port­fo­lio manage­ment, opera­tio­nal value crea­tion and board functions.

E3X Part­ners was foun­ded by Martin Mix and Jan-Felix Stolz and combi­nes exper­tise from the fields of private equity, finan­cial markets and stra­te­gic consul­ting. We forge lasting part­ner­ships based on trust, colla­bo­ra­tion and excel­lence to promote sustainable growth and deli­ver lasting value to our part­ners.


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