Catalent buys up Brazilian CMO with eye on growing market

Catalent has snapped up a Brazilian contract manufacturer, expanding its hold on the global softgel market by growing its presence in Latin America.

For an undisclosed sum, Catalent gets the Indaiatuba-headquartered Relthy Laboratórios, which brings along 350 employees and the capacity to churn out about 2 billion capsules a year, the company said. Relthy's facility complements Catalent's operation in Sorocaba, Brazil, giving the company 11 softgel-producing outposts around the globe.

"This investment will benefit our domestic and international customers as it draws on both parties' complementary capabilities to holistically address market needs," Aris Gennadios, president of Catalent's softgel unit, said in a statement. "Brazil represents a key strategic location for Catalent and its customers, and this acquisition will create significant growth opportunities."

The company has focused on expanding its emerging markets presence lately, in the past year buying a Chinese contract manufacturer and launching a joint venture with CRO ShangPharma to supply clinical trials in the same country.

Catalent has been pouring cash into its domestic operations, too, in June announcing plans to spend $35 million to add about 80,000 square feet to a Kentucky manufacturing plant. The Somerset, NJ, company has also spent millions to grow its U.S. inhalable drug capabilities and biologics manufacturing this year.

- read the statement