Bridgepoint buys Swiss Caps

Bridgepoint, the British private equity firm, has acquired a majority stake in Swiss Caps, a privately owned contract manufacturer of capsules and tablets for the health, nutritional supplements and pharmaceutical industries.

The Swiss-based company, which was founded in 1984 by current chairman Peter Greither, offers one of the broadest “one stop shop” product ranges covering solid dosage delivery forms such as soft gelatine and hard capsules and tablets. In addition to the development, manufacturing and packaging of capsules and tablets for third parties, Swiss Caps also owns rights on 60 herbal over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

With a client base comprising global pharmaceutical companies, retailers and drugstore chains, the company has five production facilities in Switzerland, Germany, Romania and the US. In 2004, Swiss Caps had net sales of €142m.

Tony Bunker, director of Bridgepoint in Frankfurt, said that Swiss Caps represented an opportunity to invest in a sector with high growth prospects and in a company with a strong market position and proven manufacturing know-how.

Earlier this year US-based buyout firm Carlyle Group agreed to acquire the entire share capital of Shionogi Qualicaps, a manufacturer of capsules for use in pharmaceuticals, from Shionogi & Co.

Advisers involved in the latest transaction for Bridgepoint included Rothschild (corporate finance), Clifford Chance (legal), KPMG (financial due diligence), PwC (tax), Roland Berger (commercial due diligence), Kessler& Co/Marsh (insurance), Ecosens (environmental due diligence) and Solving (market due diligence). Swiss Caps was advised by KPMG (corporate finance), KPMG (legal services) and PwC (tax).