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    US group buys Belgian MaSTherCell for $315 million

    The Catalent Inc. group, based in New Jersey, USA has agreed to acquire MaSTherCell Global, a Belgium-based firm specializing in cell and gene therapy, for 315 million US dollars (about 285 million euros), Catalent announced on Monday.

    The purchase of MaSTherCell Global, a ULB spinoff created in 2011 and based in Gosselies (Charleroi), concerns the Gosselies site, which is being extended with the construction of a new 5,500-square metre facility, as well as a site in Houston, Texas.

    The company has 240 employees at the Gosselies site, but 250 more are to be added with the construction of the new facility. It will be devoted to commercial-scale production of cell and gene therapy products and should be open by autumn 2021.

    The transaction should be finalized by the third quarter of Catalent’s fiscal year, once the required regulatory authorisations are issued, the US group stated in a press release on Monday.

    “MaSTherCell is writing a new page in its history,” MaSTherCell SA, CEO Denis Bedoret is quoted as saying in a separate press release. “We have achieved this thanks to our investors’ confidence in our project,” he added, thanking in particular the federal investment company, SPFI, which has 17% of MaSTherCell’s capital.

    “SPFI’s support has played a crucial role in the development of our activities,” Bedoret stressed.

    “We intend to pursue the joint goals of SPFI and MaSTherCell with regard to speeding up job creation in the Walloon region and developing our know-how on a global scale,” Bedoret added. “This operation is also particularly motivating because it will strengthen the services we offer our clients and ultimately benefit patients who need vital innovative therapies.”

    In addition to SFPI, the Great Point Partners investment fund and Orgenesis pharmaceutical firm are also among MaSTherCell’s shareholders.

    Catelent, which has a staff of about 13,000, registered a turnover of 2.5 billion dollars in 2019.

    The American group defines itself as “the number 1 partner in helping pharmaceutical, biotech and consumer health innovators develop, deliver and supply superior products that improve people’s lives.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times