AmerisourceBergen has a buyer for its packaging business: Frazier Healthcare

AndersonBrecon--just formed a year ago--sells for $308 million

Steve Collis, AmerisourceBergen CEO, is looking to be a man in a hurry. Having secured a pathbreaking, 10-year distribution agreement with Walgreens in mid-March, he followed up 10 days later by divesting ABC’s Canadian wholesaling operations, selling the bulk of it to Kohl & Frisch, an Ontario full-line wholesaler. Now, he has initiated the sale of AndersonBrecon, a multinational contract packaging unit, to Frazier Healthcare (Seattle), a portfolio-management company with extensive holdings in pharmaceuticals, services and healthcare. The purchase price was $308 million, and three other private-equity firms, Greenspring Associates, QIC Global Private Equity, and Thomas McNerney & Partners, took a share in the acquisition.

The AndersonBrecon sale was expected; ABC indicated last fall that it was putting the business on the market. Less than a year ago, ABC had combined two existing subsidiaries, Anderson Packaging (Rockford, IL) and Brecon Packaging (Herefordshire, UK) to form the unit; it has manufacturing plants in 12 countries and employed (as of last June) 1,500. “We are pleased that AndersonBrecon will join well-established firms heavily invested in the healthcare services market, including the pharmaceutical contract packaging sector,” said Steven H. Collis, AmerisourceBergen President and Chief Executive Officer. “This transaction will help ensure that AndersonBrecon will continue to thrive in the years ahead, and allows AmerisourceBergen to focus on its distribution, specialty and manufacturer services businesses.”

Frazier Healthcare acquired the contract packaging facilities of Catalent Pharma Solutions last June, and rebranded the company as Packaging Coordinators, Inc. “We are extremely excited to add the complementary U.S. and European footprint of AndersonBrecon to the strength of PCI's capabilities,” said Bill Mitchell, PCI's CEO, in a statement. “This acquisition is a positive step in PCI's growth strategy.” Longtimers in the pharma packaging business will remember Bill Mitchell as head of the Catalent packaging units when they were part of Cardinal Health (Catalent was spun out of Cardinal Health in 2007). PCI is headquartered in Philadelphia.