Global medical disposables producer Gerresheimer AG plans to expand its presence in North America by acquiring Centor US Holding Inc., a former Rexam plc business based in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Centor of Perrysburg, Ohio, is the leader in the U.S. prescription plastic vial retail market for oral drugs, according to Gerresheimer. The German company agreed to pay $725 million for Centor, which had sales last year of about $167 million and about 220 employees.
The acquisition, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015, would launch Gerresheimer into plastic injection molded packaging in the United States, according to spokesman Jens Kuerten. Gerresheimer, based in Düsseldorf, Germany, did about 262 million euros ($291 million) in sales in North America last year, but it was mainly in glass packaging and other drug delivery devices such as inhalers, Kuerten said in an email.
Gerresheimer is already experienced in making plastic medical packaging elsewhere and will combine that experience with Centor's expertise in molding, he added.
The deal also puts Gerresheimer in the retail market of pharmacies and supermarkets, a new customer base for the company, which has mostly sold directly to drug companies.
Centor, founded in 1968, does its molding in Berlin, Ohio. Centor President and one of the founders, Paul Arsenault, declined comment by phone, deferring to Gerresheimer's media relations team.
“We will contribute to Gerresheimer's success with our market leadership in the North American prescription plastic vial retail market,” Arsenault noted in a news release.
Gerresheimer boosted its production capacity for inhalers, pens and other drug delivery items at its Peachtree City, Ga., plant early this year. The project also enhanced the firm's molding technology development there, reflecting Gerresheimer's 2014 investment in pilot plant production at its Wackersdorf, Germany, technical center. Gerresheimer also operates a third technical center, in Dongguan, China, which it opened last autumn to develop markets in Asia. The company has been manufacturing drug delivery systems such as inhalers and lancets in Dongguan since 2006.
Centor leads its market with two drug vials, Screw-Loc and 1-Clic, which cater to trends to “pour and count” drug delivery systems among consumers. Centor reportedly has more than half the U.S. prescription vial retail market, selling some 1.5 billion of the little bottles per year.
Centor was Rexam's prescription retail packaging business until it was acquired by Montagu Private Equity in 2014. Montagu also bought Rexam's former pharmaceutical devices division, which will continue on as Nemera Development SA of La Verpillieré, France.
Before the Centor operation was part of Rexam, it was owned by Owens-Illinois Inc. The Toledo, Ohio-based packaging giant sold the business to Rexam in 2007.
Gerresheimer growing in plastics
Gerresheimer is growing the plastics side of its business and shedding the glass manufacturing portion. In June, Gerresheimer said it will sell its glass tubing business to Corning Inc., although it will continue in a joint venture with Corning to develop innovations in glass drug packaging.
Gerresheimer runs more than 40 factories in Europe, Asia and North and South America employing about 11,000. Annual sales of about 1.3 billion euros ($1.44 billion) comprise a wide range of packaging and delivery systems for drugs and to a lesser extent, cosmetics. It makes PET and high density polyethylene bottles for pharmaceuticals as well as multilayer barrier bottles with cyclic polyolefin and nylon layers.
Gerresheimer calculates its agreed purchase price values Centor at about 9.8 time earnings before interest, taxes and amortization. It will integrate the newcomer into its Plastics & Devices Division. Gerresheimer was founded in 1864 as a glass container manufacturer.