Consortium picks up Unither Pharma from Ardian; Mayfair fades out of Pixomondo

Unither is a European pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation that produces complex sterile liquid formulations for medical use.

Good morning Eurohubsters, Craig McGlashan here with the Dealflow.

We’ve got a healthy prescription of pharmaceutical deals to report today, plus a bit of Hollywood glamour in the form of a special effects company. A recent trend of logistics deals also shows no sign of slowing down and there’s a potential new tobacco firm that could spark interest among investors.

Big pharma. A consortium, led by Eric Goupil, executive chairman at Unither Pharmaceuticals, and comprising IK Partners, GIC, Keensight Capital and Parquest Capital, announced the acquisition of Unither from Ardian.

Amiens, France-based Unither is a European pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organisation that produces complex sterile liquid formulations for medical use. The company employs over 1,600 people across seven manufacturing facilities in France, the US, Brazil, and China, as well as an additional R&D centre in Bordeaux, France.

The consortium will aim to support Unither’s growth by further penetrating the US market and expanding into BFS adjacencies such as vaccines and multi-dose preservative free dosage forms.

“We look forward to actively contributing to the strengthening of Unither’s global industrial footprint and operations, with the support of our in-house platform teams,” said Magdalena Svensson, partner at IK, in a statement.

Trans-Atlantic. We’ve got more to report on Keensight’s activity in pharma. Symeres, a Keensight Capital portfolio company, announced the acquisition of Exemplify BioPharma, a provider of integrated end-to-end CMC drug development deliverables to pharmaceutical and biotech firms.

Exemplify, based in Cranbury, New Jersey, offers consultancy services in process chemistry, analytical chemistry and formulation development. The company will remain under the management of co-founders Yadan Chen, CEO, and Paul O’Shea, chief scientific officer.

The acquisition extends the Nijmegen, Netherlands-based Symeres’ foothold in the US, where the company generates approximately 50 percent of its revenues.

Let me entertain you. Mayfair Equity Partners announced the sale of Pixomondo, visual effects and virtual production creator, to Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE). Under the deal, SPE acquires 100 percent of Pixomondo.

Pixomondo has worked on content such as The BoysGame of ThronesHouse of the Dragon and the upcoming Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Los Angeles-based company maintains three LED soundstages and seven offices in the US, UK, Germany and Canada. The company was founded in 2001 in Pfungstadt, Germany.

London-headquartered Mayfair invested in Pixomondo in 2018, with the aim to transform the company from a post-production VFX provider to a tech-enabled production services business with integrated workflows. During the ownership period, Pixomondo expanded its visual effects team and developed its virtual production capabilities.

SPE is a Culver City, California-based subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Group.

Logistics rush. We spent a fair bit of yesterday’s Dealflow talking about logistics, including Nina Lindholm’s piece on CapMan’s purchase of Niemi and Mutares’ agreement to buy Götene Kyltransporter.

Well, we have a bit more to report in that vein this morning.

Innova Capital announced it has signed an agreement to sell a 100 percent stake in Inelo Group to Eurowag. The deal is worth in excess of €300 million.

Inelo provides integrated IT services for heavy-duty transport in the CEE region. The company’s product offering includes driver time analysis and calculation software and GPS satellite location software to aid driver vehicle tracking, routing, and vehicle monitoring. Inelo group is headquartered in Bielsko-Biała, Poland.

Warsaw-based Innova acquired Inelo in 2018. During the ownership period, Inelo Group has made four strategic acquisitions.

Eurowag, headquartered in Prague, is a pan-European integrated payments and mobility platform focused on the commercial road transportation industry.

Hear the thoughts of Krzysztof Kulig, senior partner at Innova Capital, as well as the details on Inelo’s acquisitions, in our full coverage here.

Supply chain problems have been a huge topic over the last few years. It’d be great to get your thoughts about the trend for private equity investment in the sector and how long it may continue. Feel free to send me your thoughts at

Venturing forth. Now we have a message from our affiliate site Venture Capital Journal.

Hello, Eurohubsters! Craig’s colleague Larry Aragon here from Venture Capital Journal asking for your help in identifying great dealmakers, LPs and service providers under the age of 40 who are making a difference in the world of venture capital.

If you know someone great, please nominate them for our fourth annual Rising Stars feature. And please let us know as soon as possible, since the deadline for nominations is November 1.

Past honorees include Cathy Gao of Sapphire Ventures, Jonathan Andersin of DLA Piper, Tanya Kemp of San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System, Jessica Yi of Norwest Venture Partners, Dami Osunsanya of SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund and Sara Mattern of Foley Hoag.

Check out Rising Stars from prior years: 2022, 2021 and 2020. All the details about how to nominate someone are here. Questions? Shoot an email to

Near the finish line. Back on to M&A, a big tobacco tie-up looks set to go ahead – and could also make a new company available for investors.

We reported last week about Stamford, Connecticut-headquartered cigarette maker Philip Morris International raising its buyout offer for Swedish Match, a tobacco company headquartered in Stockholm.

Yesterday, the European Commission approved the merger, subject to “full compliance with commitments offered by Philip Morris International”.

“Swedish Match holds a de facto monopoly on distribution of tobacco and nicotine products in Sweden through its subsidiary SMD Logistics,” the Commission wrote. As Philip Morris is “a leading supplier of combustible tobacco”, the Commission said, “the transaction could have led to foreclosure effects in Sweden, given that SMD is the only distributor of combustible tobacco, smoke-free, and related products in Sweden”.

Philip Morris has offered to divest SMD Logistics, which will “enable a purchaser to run the divested business as a viable competitive force in the market on a lasting basis”, the Commission said. It added that any buyer will require approval by the Commission.

That’s it from me. Happy dealmaking and I’ll be back with you tomorrow.