Case Studies

Case Study: Aesica

The Company:

Headquartered in Northumberland, Aesica is a leading supplier of active pharmaceutical ingredients, formulations and custom synthesis solutions to the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

Added Value:

  • In 2004, the management team was presented with the opportunity to acquire Aesica from its parent company BASF, for whom the operation had become non-core
  • LDC backed the MBO that year, investing for a majority stake. LDC and Management then began to introduce a programme of investment in the business’ infrastructure, to harness growth opportunities created by demand for outsourced pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Between 2005 and 2011, the business expanded existing manufacturing facilities, acquired five manufacturing sites in Kent, Germany and Italy which increased international reach and acquired leading specialist R5 Pharmaceuticals


  • In 2011 the company ranked third in the Sunday Times Deloitte Buyout Track 100, having increased profits significantly for the previous three years and became one of the top 12 pharmaceutical contract manufacturers globally
  • The success of its management team and LDC’s investment strategy is reflected in turnover growth, which rose sevenfold from €25m to €180m in the seven years LDC supported the business
  • This increase impacted headcount at Aesica, with the number of employees rising from 150 (2004), to 1,300 (2011)
  • LDC sold it’s stake in Aesica in 2011 through a SBO funded by Silverfleet Capital
“When the opportunity arose to buy the site from BASF in 2004 there were plenty of finance options at our disposal. “For the business to reach its full potential we knew we needed more than just funding and it was clear that LDC’s private equity model would provide us with an active partner with the capital, strategic insight and operational expertise to complement our skills and ambition.” Dr. Robert Hardy, CEO, Aesica


  • Turnover rose from €25m to €180m
  • Acquired 5 manufacturing sites
  • Employees rose from 150 to 1,300
  • Significant return
  • 3rd in ‘Buyout Track 100’
  • Top 12 pharmaceutical global manufacturer