On the rebound, AMRI trades $52M for a testing firm

AMRI CEO William Marth

AMRI ($AMRI), a contract drugmaker returning to profitability after years of restructuring, bought a New Jersey testing firm for $54 million, expanding its stable of services.

The Albany, NY, company bought Whitehouse Laboratories for $54 million in cash and the promise of $2 million more in AMRI shares if it reaches unspecified goals by year's end. Whitehouse is a provider of testing services for the pharma, medical device and personal care industries, offering analysis, process development and quality control services. The company is on pace to book $11 million in revenue this year, AMRI said.

The deal will help the manufacturing-focused AMRI diversify its offerings and client roster, management said, complementing the company's growing capacity in production.

"With the proliferation of ever-tightening standards in the life sciences sector and mounting concern regarding quality and safety of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, Whitehouse Labs meets the increasingly complex needs of customers we service and will augment our discovery, development and manufacturing services nicely," AMRI CEO William Marth said in a statement.

The buyout follows a string of deals for AMRI, which has spent nearly $400 million on acquisitions over the past two years amid cost cuts and a gradual shift away from drug discovery and into manufacturing.

This year, AMRI returned to consistent profitability after a string of quarters in the red, and the company is expecting more than 50% annual revenue growth in 2015.

- read the statement