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AXA Private Equity arranges and subscribes unitranche financing for Unither Pharmaceuticals

(PresseBox) (Paris, ) The Mezzanine team at AXA Private Equity, the leading European diversified private equity firm, has arranged and subscribed the financing for the acquisition of Unither Pharmaceuticals by Equistone Partners Europe. Unither is being acquired by Equistone, alongside historical shareholders ING Parcom Private Equity, CM-CIC Investment and Picardie Investment.

Unither Pharmaceuticals was originally purchased in 1993 from a Sanofi's factory employing 17 people in Amiens, France. It is now a global manufacturerof unidose packaging for European pharmaceutical laboratories, and generic products, particularly eyewashes, saline solutions and anti-asthma drugs in sterile single-dose units and stick-packs.

With four industrial sites and an R&D centre, Unither generated revenues of €151 million in 2010. The Group currently employs more than 850 people, and has strengthened its position as a global market leader in sterile single-dose units through the utilization of Blow, Fill & Seal (BFS) technology.

The combination of the Group's capacity for innovation, the quality of its control processes (as confirmed in 2011 by Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval of its facility in Coutances, France) and the efficiency of its production capacities has ensured the success of Unither products with pharmaceutical laboratories.

The unitranche financing, a type of debt that combines senior and subordinated debt into one debt instrument, will provideUnither with flexible financing to pursue its capital expenditures programme. AXA Private Equity's Mezzanine team has been a partner of the company since November 2006, and its in-depth knowledge of the company contributed to move quickly to offer this innovative form of private debt financing, ideally structured to support Unither's future growth.

Eric Goupil, CEO of Unither Pharmaceuticals said: "Thanks to the unitranche financing set up by AXA Private Equity, we will be able to consolidate our strategic position and can now accelerate the company's future development plans."

Cécile Mayer-Lévi, Managing Director Mezzanine at AXA Private Equity, said: "The unitranche financing arranged by AXA Private Equity will allow Unither Pharmaceuticals to dedicate its free cash-flow on investment and value creation. This financing gives the company the opportunity to move into a new stage of its development. We are convinced of the company's potential to become a leading player in its sector and we are delighted to continue to support Unither in its future growth."

Stanislas Gaillard, Director at Equistone Partners Europe said: "Thanks to the responsiveness and pragmatism of the AXA Private Equity team, we were able to finalize our offer in a short time frame with strong financing, which takes into account the specifics of this transaction. The fluidity of our discussions during the drafting of the documentation has allowed us to combine this innovative unitranche financing with the operational set up which is essential to the daily functioning of the company."


Unither Pharmaceuticals is the world's leading contract manufacturer of sterile, unit dose preparations. The group produces highly competitive niche products such as sterile, unit-dose vials manufactured using blow-fillseal (BFS) technology, high-barrier, single-use stick packs, and enhanced dry formulations, such as effervescent tablets. Unither also offers turn-key solutions and drug delivery systems for optimizing product life cycle management.

With more than 850 employees, the Amiens-based group (France) has four manufacturing facilities and a development centre. Unither commercializes its products in more than 75 countries and offers innovative, competitive, sustainable solutions to its customers, pharmaceutical companies, while also taking patient needs into account.


- Equistone Partners Europe (Guillaume Jacqueau, Thierry Lardinois, Stanislas Gaillard)

- AXA Private Equity (Cécile Mayer-Levi, Jean-Marc Fiamma, Guillaume Chinardet, Jean-David Ponsin)
- Legal advisor: Shearman (Arnaud Fromion)

AXA Private Equity Germany

AXA Private Equity is a leading private equity firm with US$28 billion in managed assets and a global reach extending across Europe, North America and Asia. The firm offers investors the full spectrum of private equity services for every market segment: direct funds, infrastructure financing, mid cap and small cap buyouts, venture capital, co-investments, fund of funds as well as mezzanine financing.

With offices in Paris, Frankfurt, London, New York, Singapore, Milan, Zurich and Vienna, AXA Private Equity supports the development and long-term growth of its portfolio companies with sustainable growth strategies and by granting them access to the AXA international network. AXA Private Equity has earned the trust of its investors by regularly supplying them with transparent performance data on its funds and portfolio companies.

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