07th February 2024

Chanelle Pharma, Ireland’s largest indigenous manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals, acquired by Exponent

One of Ireland’s most successful companies, Chanelle Pharma has been sold by its founder Michael H Burke to Exponent, a leading private equity firm.

Headquartered in Loughrea, Co. Galway, Chanelle Pharma is Ireland’s largest indigenous manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals for animal and human health.  The terms of the sale have not been disclosed.

Founded in 1985 by Michael H Burke, today Chanelle Pharma employs over 730 people in Ireland, the UK, Europe and Jordan and is internationally recognised as a leader in the global generics pharma industry. Chanelle Pharma provides a spectrum of services to its customers including research and product development, registration and production of generic pharmaceuticals for both Human and Veterinary Pharmaceuticals.

As a leading European private equity firm, Exponent has a strong track record of successfully transforming and growing the companies they invest in. The firm recently opened an office in Dublin and has made investments totalling over €1 billion in Irish-owned or Irish-based businesses to date.  Chanelle Pharma is the firm’s 6th platform investment in Ireland.

Michael H Burke, Founder and Managing Director, Chanelle Pharma said: “Having dedicated my life to building Chanelle Pharma into a global company, I have decided the time is right to allow new owners to lead the company into its next phase of growth.   I am very pleased that Exponent is acquiring Chanelle Pharma.  They value the heritage of our company and share our ethos and vision.  They have the expertise and resources to grow Chanelle Pharma with new investment across all our operations”.

David McGovern, Partner at Exponent, said“We are delighted to invest in Chanelle, a company we have admired for a long time.  Our investment in Chanelle demonstrates our commitment to partner with market leading Irish businesses seeking to grow internationally and accelerate their growth. We look forward to working closely with Chanelle’s management team to strengthen its global presence and invest in its capabilities. We applaud Michael’s leadership of the business and thank him for trusting us to take Chanelle forward.”

 

James Gunton, Partner at Exponent, said: “We are thoroughly impressed with the business Michael has built over the last 40 years and Exponent is proud to be the next owner of Chanelle.  The business has established itself as a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer of both veterinary and medical products with an extensive portfolio of licenses.  We see tremendous opportunity in the development pipeline and look forward to bringing new products to market, as well as continuing to invest in Research and Development in the years to come.”

The sale of Chanelle Pharma marks the end of an era as Michael H Burke will retire from the business. His legacy is a company which put Ireland on the global map for generic pharmaceutical manufacturing and provides valuable employment in his native Galway.

“I want to thank my management team, all our employees and our customers and suppliers who have supported me personally, and Chanelle Pharma over the past 40 years and I wish David, James and all in Chanelle Pharma continued success in the future”, he said.

Chanelle Pharma’s Headquarters in Loughrea is located on a 17-acre site and includes three manufacturing plants, four research and development centres, warehousing and offices.  Its state-of-the-art Spot On manufacturing has FDA approval, allowing the company to export to the United States.  The Loughrea site manufactures generic pharmaceuticals for export to over 90 countries and works with the biggest generic companies across the world.

The company’s success has been built on a strong product development pipeline. In the EU it holds the largest number of veterinary licences of any animal health company.  It undertakes annual investment of some €8 million in Research and Development of both human and veterinary animal health products.   Under Michael Burke’s leadership the company has continually grown its business each year since 1985.

Chanelle Pharma will remain an Irish managed company with the current management team remaining in place.

The sale is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).
Advisors to Chanelle Pharma were:  Rothschild & Co, Arthur Cox and PWC.
Advisors to Exponent were: Canson Capital Partners, Allen & Overy, A&L Goodbody, KPMG.

For further information please contact:
MKC Communications:  Laurie Mannix, laurie@mkc.ie 086 8143710

 

About Michael H Burke and Chanelle Pharma

A native of Kilchreest in Galway, Michael H. Burke qualified as a veterinary surgeon from UCD in 1970, and subsequently set up his own practice in Loughrea in 1971.   Recognising the opportunity to distribute products within Ireland’s veterinary sector, he set up an animal health product distribution service from his base in Loughrea in 1978.

Five years later he expanded his distribution business to established Chanelle Veterinary as a wholesale company for animal health pharmaceuticals in 1983.  He was one of the first to recognise the potential business opportunities in the Middle East, visiting Saudi Arabia in 1983 and securing orders for products to the value of one million pounds.  Chanelle Pharma subsequently established an R&D centre in Jordan.

Within two years (1985), following the acquisition of the Westphalian cotton factory in Loughrea, Chanelle built its first production line to manufacture animal health products and Chanelle Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Limited (CPML) was established, offering a more extensive range of veterinary products and services.

In 2000 Michael Burke established Chanelle Medical to manufacture generic medical pharmaceuticals for human health.

In 2018, Chanelle Pharma announced one of the largest investment programmes by any Irish company, committing to invest €86 million in its operations.  The investment included the construction of an FDA approved manufacturing facility for Spot-On, a topical treatment used globally to protect dogs and cats against harmful parasites.  This allowed Chanelle Pharma to begin selling into the lucrative US market.

Today the company has over 730 employees and is internationally recognised as a leader in the global generics pharma industry.   Chanelle Pharma provides a spectrum of services to its customers including research and product development, registration and production of generic pharmaceuticals for both Human and Veterinary Pharmaceuticals.

Chanelle Pharma’s Headquarters in Loughrea is located on a 17-acre site and includes three manufacturing plants, four research and development centres, warehousing and offices.  The company also has operations in Oranmore and Ballinasloe. The Loughrea site manufactures generic pharmaceuticals for export to over 90 countries and works with the biggest generic companies across the world.

 

About Exponent

Established in 2004 with a presence in London, Dublin and Amsterdam, Exponent is a leading private equity firm. The Firm invests in companies headquartered across Europe (UK, Ireland, Benelux and Nordics) with enterprise values between €150-500 million. Exponent has a distinctive approach, central to which is identifying the potential in corporate, family or founder owned businesses; specialising within sectors; and integrating industrialists into its investment process. A “good to growth” strategy – investing in business capabilities to deliver revenue-driven profit growth for its portfolio.

Exponent has raised more than €3 billion to date. A selection of Exponent’s current and past investments include market leading businesses such as Trainline, Moonpig, Ambassador Theatre Group, Big Bus, Dennis (publisher of ‘The Week’ magazine), SHL, Isio (formerly KPMG Pension Advisory) Loch Lomond and Quorn Foods.

Exponent has been investing in Irish-based and owned businesses for over ten years. The Firm acquired Fintrax in 2012 (now known as Planet), the Racing Post in 2016, Enva in 2017 and most recently, in 2022, Co. Limerick based H&MV Engineering, the leading specialist in high voltage electrical engineering and Xeinadin, the leading provider of accountancy services and business advice for SMEs across the UK and Ireland.

 

For information on Exponent please contact:
FTI Consulting: Katherine Bell, katherine.bell@fticonsulting.com 079 76 87 0961

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