Private equity firm closes $300M deal for Woodstock pharmaceutical development, manufacturing facility

Public filings by seller, Catalent, show an additional $100M could be spent as part of transaction

A New York private equity firm closed its purchase of a Woodstock facility that plays a role in developing and manufacturing pharmaceuticals last week.

Formerly owned by the publicly traded Catalent, the property at 2200 Lake Shore Drive in Woodstock is now controlled by funds the New York-based SK Capital Partners manages, according to a news release from SK Capital.

Attempts to reach representatives of Catalent and SK Capital to inquire about the details of the sale were unsuccessful.

But Catalent’s quarterly report filed to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February shows the company in December entered an agreement with a subsidiary of SK Capital worth $300 million in cash for the facility.

An additional $100 million could also be tendered as part of the transaction, depending on future events concerning the facility, the SEC document shows.

The facility uses technology known as blow-fill-seal, or BFS, a method of producing, loading and sealing containers in a rapid continuous process, to help manufacture pharmaceuticals in a sterile environment.

“Divesting our BFS manufacturing business will allow us to concentrate on our growing core activities of developing oral, inhaled and biologic drugs with customers, as well as rapidly extending our technological portfolio of new, emerging modalities, including cell and gene therapies,” Jonathan Arnold, Catalent’s president of oral and specialty delivery, said in a January news release.

The new owner, SK Capital, invests mainly in the specialty materials, chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors.

“We would like to thank everyone at the Woodstock facility for their dedication and commitment to Catalent in their efforts to support the launch and supply of many essential drugs, and I am sure they will continue to thrive under the new ownership, whose team has extensive experience investing into and growing pharmaceutical businesses,” Arnold said in the release.

The facility is going to be renamed Woodstock Sterile Solutions.

“We are excited to launch Woodstock Sterile Solutions as an independent company, building on its decades of experience in serving commercial and development customers,” Aaron Davenport, a managing director at SK Capital, said in a news release last week.

The New York firm announced a new chief executive officer, Paul Josephs, would be taking over leadership of the Woodstock facility as part of the sale closing. Josephs most recently worked as head of contract development and manufacturing and global business development at Mylan, another pharmaceuticals company.

“I am truly honored and excited to lead an organization with the heritage and potential of Woodstock,” Josephs said in a news release last week.

He added: “I look forward to partnering with SK Capital, the executive team and all Woodstock associates to leverage the company’s unique sterile manufacturing capabilities, strong market position and exceptional talent in executing our growth strategy. The BFS and sterile manufacturing markets are significant growth areas in our industry and together we have a great opportunity to positively impact the lives of countless patients, domestically and abroad.”

Sam Lounsberry

Sam Lounsberry covers local government, business, K-12 education and all other aspects of life in McHenry County, in particular in the communities of Woodstock, McHenry, Richmond, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake and Johnsburg.