Seventeen months after SK Bioscience introduced its global expansion push—memorably dubbed as “SKBS 3.0”—the Korean developer and manufacturer of vaccines has pulled off a deal that lives up to its ambitions.

SK has acquired a 60% stake in IDT Biologika GmbH for 339 billion won ($244 million). The 103-year-old German company, which ranks among the world’s top 10 in vaccine production, had been owned by Klocke Group, a consolidation of firms that perform contract manufacturing services. Klocke will retain a 40% stake in IDT Biologika.

It is the first significant M&A deal for SK since it went public with a $1.33 billion IPO in 2021. With the news, SK’s share price increased by 8% by mid-morning on Thursday.

In its release, SK said that it is “starting to take a leap toward globalization.”

“SK Bioscience will secure cGMP-level manufacturing infrastructure to grow and develop into a global company,” SK said in the release. “Based on this, it will be possible to expand the portfolio targeting developed countries such as the United States and Europe and advance into new bio areas such as anti-cancer viruses and cell gene therapy (CGT).”

After achieving record revenue of 312 million euros ($328 million) in 2022—fueled by production of COVID vaccines—IDT Biologika’s sales slumped to 275 million euros ($297 million) in 2023. The company, which operates in Germany and the U.S., has a headcount of 1,800 employees.

In taking over the management of IDT Biologika, SK said it will seek leadership stability and new growth for the firm. Overall with the move, SK expects to more than double IDT Biologika’s revenue and achieve an “operating profit of more than 20% of sales.”

Among the factors SK cited for making the move was to secure production capabilities and customer networks that meet the quality standards seen in Europe and the U.S. and to build an integrated infrastructure connecting the U.S., Europe and Korea.

In August of last year, SK paid $85 million to acquire a 7% stake in struggling U.S. vaccine developer Novavax. With the deal, SK gained exclusive rights in South Korea to Novavax’s updated COVID vaccine until 2029.

Source: https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/sk-bioscience-begins-globalization-push-paying-244m-majority-stake-idt-biologika
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