Contract developer and manufacturer Patheon has agreed to pay $255 million to buy Belgian firm Vion’s Banner Pharmacaps, a specialty pharma business focused on the gelatin-based dosage forms. Banner has developed softgel formulations for OTC, prescription, and nutritional products, and operates four manufacturing facilities.

Vion claims selling off the Banner business will allow it to focus on its core food and ingredients business, while Patheon says taking on the firm will provide it with enhanced capabilities in oral dosage technologies. “The acquisition of Banner advances our strategic plan put in place in 2011, fully aligning with Patheon’s intent to be the leader in oral dosage development and manufacturing services,” states James C. Mullen, CEO. “The transaction provides us with a well-balanced portfolio of proprietary products, state-of-the-art facilities with enhanced capabilities, as well as an expanded geographical presence.”

With some 4,000 employees globally, drug development, and manufacturing services firm Patheon operates nine manufacturing facilities and nine development centers across North America and Europe. The firm reported total revenues of $203.7 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2012, up 18% on the equivalent period in 2011. Commercial manufacturing revenues for the third quarter were up 21.3% at $168.3 million, and pharmaceutical development service revenues for the third quarter increased 4.1% to $35.4 million.

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