LSNE is a leading developer and manufacturer of complex pharmaceuticals, specialising in sterile lyophilization – a freeze-drying process that increases the shelf-life of products. The business serves pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device customers globally.
“We had the opportunity to back a small, specialist player in drug development and manufacturing. It was a true partnership from the start, working directly with the founder and CEO.” - Henry Minello, Partner, Permira
Identifying and maximising potential
LSNE’s core strengths have always been in developing and manufacturing. However, it was once a relatively small and regional business operating in a sector where new product innovation is notoriously demanding, requiring time, equipment, know-how and, of course, investment.
The potential to scale up and expand was evident, but LSNE lacked the capital and commercial presence to do so. For us, this represented a clear opportunity. We moved quickly.
After acquiring the business in 2017, we applied Permira’s typical collaborative approach to work closely with the company’s Founder and CEO to identify areas of growth potential in a complex marketplace. Together, we then took a series of steps to unlock this opportunity:
- Brought in a world-class Chairman and a Head of Corporate Development, both from Permira’s global network.
- Developed a strategy to benefit from the proximity to Boston and the North-East bio-pharmaceutical corridor.
- Embarked on an M&A strategy to expand in the US and Europe to meet customer needs and grow LSNE’s global presence.
- Injected capital to drive R&D and product development for biologics products and new delivery types, including pre-filled syringes.
- Delivered a plan to increase scale and enhance infrastructure, adding laboratory facilities, quality assurance and IT resources.
Building a great business, together
In the case of LSNE, we helped build the company, literally. We invested in the construction of new facilities, made two important acquisitions in the US and Spain, secured adjacent land that allowed for further expansion, and built out infrastructure at three campus locations for reliable customer supply.
Parallel to this, we bolstered the sales and marketing teams by three times, grew the HR function across multiple locations, and built out our capabilities to meet our customers’ long-term needs with major investments. Adding scale and increasing customer trust and reliability were key to attracting strong and persistent demand and a large pipeline for LSNE’s services.
Exiting ahead of schedule
Within four years of our partnership, LSNE had become a clear market leader with differentiated capabilities and an outstanding quality record. By this time, LSNE’s growth trajectory was attracting the attention of others in the industry looking to expand and add these key capabilities.
Among these was PCI Pharma Services, a leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical integrated solutions provider. After spending six months with the PCI team it became clear to us that they were perfectly positioned to take LSNE forwards and provide a platform to build upon LSNE’s market position. The sale to PCI was the ideal outcome for all involved.