Rows of glass vials in a biologics laboratory in Sweden. Photographer: Mikael Sjoberg/Bloomberg
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Business: Catalent develops and manufactures options for medication, protein-based biologics, cell and gene therapies, and shopper well being merchandise worldwide. The firm operates via 4 segments. First, there’s Softgel and Oral Technologies, which offers formulation, improvement, and manufacturing providers for smooth capsules to be used in a spread of buyer merchandise. Biologics offers biologic cell-line, and it develops and manufactures cell remedy and viral-based gene remedy. This phase additionally handles the formulation, improvement and manufacturing for parenteral dose varieties, together with vials and prefilled syringes. The Oral and Specialty Delivery phase gives formulation, improvement and manufacturing throughout a spread of applied sciences, together with built-in downstream medical improvement and business provide options. Finally, the Clinical Supply Services phase gives manufacturing, packaging, storage, distribution and stock administration for medication and biologics, in addition to cell and gene therapies in medical trials.
Stock Market Value: $8.86B ($49.16 per share)
Percentage Ownership: n/a
Average Cost: n/a
Activist Commentary: Elliott is a really profitable and astute activist investor, significantly within the know-how sector. Its staff consists of analysts from main tech non-public fairness corporations, engineers, working companions – former know-how CEOs and COOs. When evaluating an funding, the agency additionally hires specialty and normal administration consultants, knowledgeable value analysts and trade specialists. The agency typically watches corporations for a few years earlier than investing and have an in depth steady of spectacular board candidates. Elliott has not disclosed its stake on this funding, however based mostly on the agency’s historical past, we might anticipate it to be roughly $1 billion.
On Aug. 29, Elliott and the corporate entered right into a cooperation agreement pursuant to which Catalent agreed to briefly enhance the dimensions of the board from 12 to 16 administrators and appoint Steven Barg (international head of engagement at Elliott), Frank D’Amelio (former CFO and EVP, international provide, of Pfizer), Stephanie Okey (former SVP, head of North America, uncommon illnesses, and U.S. normal supervisor, uncommon illnesses at Genzyme) and Michelle Ryan (former treasurer of Johnson & Johnson). The firm will cut back the dimensions of the board at the 2023 annual assembly; it agreed to nominate a slate of 12 candidates, together with the 4 new administrators. Catalent additionally agreed to set up a strategic and operational evaluate committee, charged with conducting a evaluate of the corporate’s enterprise, technique and operations, in addition to its capital allocation priorities. This committee will embody new administrators Barg and Ryan. Further, John Greisch (former president and CEO of Hill-Rom Holdings) has been appointed govt chair of the board and also will chair the newly shaped committee. Elliott agreed to abide by sure customary voting and standstill provisions.
Catalent is an outsourced producer within the prescribed drugs trade. This is a steady enterprise in a rising trade working in an oligopoly. It’s one of many three largest international contract improvement and manufacturing organizations, next to Lonza and a division of Thermo Fisher. The firm was at all times seen as a market chief, however in the midst of 2022 the tides started to flip, largely due to two most important components. First, Catalent was negatively affected by a Covid cliff: During the pandemic, the federal government mandated that the corporate shut down a lot of its manufacturing and start producing Covid vaccines. This manufacturing led to $1.5 billion in income that not too long ago went to zero. Second, Catalent had a number of self-inflicted wounds, together with an acquisition that didn’t pan out like they anticipated and operational and regulatory points. These are fixable points which have sunk the inventory from $142.35 in September 2021 to $48.82 this month, however they don’t essentially adversely have an effect on the long-term intrinsic worth of the corporate. That makes this example a superb alternative for an activist.
In its most simplistic type, there are two fundamental components to an activist marketing campaign: success within the activism (as an illustration, getting the corporate to undertake your agenda) and execution of the activist agenda. Elliott has already completed the previous, having entered into the cooperation settlement for 4 board seats. There’s additionally the institution of a strategic and operational evaluate committee and appointment of Greisch as govt chair of the board and as chair of the newly shaped committee. While this committee’s purview is enterprise, technique and operations, we anticipate it can put an emphasis on technique.
This is a really strategic asset, and there are probably to be a number of acquirers. In reality, on Feb. 4, Bloomberg reported that fellow life sciences conglomerate Danaher had expressed curiosity in buying Catalent at a “vital premium.” Catalent ended Feb. 3 at $56.05 per share, and the inventory popped practically 20% the next buying and selling session. Ultimately, a cope with Danaher never materialized. Additionally, corporations like Merck could be all in favour of shopping for the corporate or elements of it. Another risk is an acquisition by non-public fairness, of which Elliott’s PE arm could be an get together. While as an activist Elliott will do no matter it feels is important to improve shareholder worth, previously the agency has made vital use of the technique of providing to purchase its portfolio corporations as one of the best catalyst to improve shareholder worth. We wouldn’t be stunned to see that happen right here. Catalent is the appropriate measurement for Elliott, which not too long ago partnered on buyout offers for Citrix Systems and Nielsen Holdings, every for roughly $16 billion. Elliott has additionally not too long ago proven curiosity on this trade, partnering with Patient Square Capital and Veritas Capital to acquire Syneos Health (SYNH) for $7.1 billion. That acquisition is anticipated to shut within the second half of 2023. Like Catalent, Syneos is an outsourced pharma options firm: It outsources R&D for pharmaceutical corporations, whereas Catalent outsources manufacturing.
Elliott rapidly bought Catalent to pursue a strategic exploration agenda, which signifies to us that there was not plenty of pushback by administration. We anticipate that this evaluate will conclude with a sale of the corporate. However, it’s price noting that Catalent has a comparatively new CEO at the helm, Alessandro Maselli, who was promoted from president and COO in July 2022. Numerous the operational points occurred throughout his watch. If this does flip from a strategic evaluate to an operational evaluate, there isn’t a assure that he retains his job.
Ken Squire is the founder and president of 13D Monitor, an institutional analysis service on shareholder activism, and the founder and portfolio supervisor of the 13D Activist Fund, a mutual fund that invests in a portfolio of activist 13D investments.