RoundTable Closes Pharma Deal

Target: Aqua Pharmaceuticals

Price: Undisclosed

Sponsor: RoundTable Healthcare Partners

Seller: Jay Gooding and Craig Ballaron

RoundTable Healthcare Partners has bought Aqua Pharmaceuticals LLC, a West Chester, Pa.-based company that develops and markets treatments for skin conditions, co-founder Lester Knight told Buyouts.

The Lake Forest, Ill.-based shop plans to expand the Aqua Pharmaceuticals platform by acquiring other drug companies or by buying drug licenses. Founded in 2004, the company’s main products are used to treat acne, Knight said.

RoundTable Healthcare was particularly encouraged to do the deal because the company already had in place a team of 25 to 30 sales representatives who market its products to dermatologists. When buyout shops embark on a roll-up such as this, Knight said, one of their first goals is to beef up the sales and marketing team. In this case, that team was already in place.

The firm approached the owners of Aqua Pharmaceuticals, Jay Gooding and Craig Ballaron, about six months ago after scouring the dermatology pharmaceutical sector for suitable deals. “We like the dermatology space—it’s a growing, fragmented area with lots of players in it, so there’s a lot of chances to acquire other companies,” Knight said shortly after inking the deal. Gooding and Ballaron will retain a significant stake in the company.

Its first foray into the dermatology pharmaceutical space, Aqua Pharmaceuticals also marks the fifth platform acquisition in Roundtable Healthcare’s second fund, a $500 million pool of capital closed in 2005 that is now more than 60 percent committed. The firm is preparing to launch a fundraising campaign for its third fund.

Roundtable Healthcare typically writes equity checks of $5 million to $50 million to acquire companies involved in medical devices and products, medication delivery systems, specialty pharmaceuticals, specialty distribution, and outsourced services.

Knight, the former CEO of Allegiance Corp., a Deerfield, Ill.-based health care products and services distributor, co-founded RoundTable Healthcare in 2001.