5 Key Benefits as PCI Synthesis Gets Acquired


We weren’t looking to sell PCI Synthesis. I co-founded a company 22 years ago called Polycarbon Industries Inc. a small scale chemical manufacturer that eventually became PCI Synthesis. Raising funds from family and friends, our niche at the time was tens of kilos—we were not a company who had big vessels, so we did not do large projects and we did not do very sophisticated, small-volume chemistry.

In 2005, there was a fire in our facility in Leominster, and we had to shut down the company for a while – while keeping staff on the payroll to figure our path forward. In 2006, we purchased our current headquarters in Newburyport, which was basically like putting together two different companies.

Recognizing that dozens of entities around Boston required outsourcing expertise, we developed a new corporate strategy to offer

  1. Drug substance contract manufacturing for emerging pharmaceutical companies.
  2. A portfolio of active ingredients with partners on a year in and year out basis.

After the stock market crash of 2010, we watched the contract business dry up pretty aggressively. We were very lucky because we had a generic API that got approved that year—so, while other companies were laying people off, we were actually growing a little bit and were much better off.

We took that lesson—the lack of contract business in 2009 and 2010 and basically said, “You know, what we need to do is develop a portfolio of commercial products.”

Again, we recognized it was time to develop a new corporate vision, focusing on:

  • Becoming the largest small molecule drug substance manufacturer in New England.
  • Being the most awarded drug substance manufacturer in North America (as noted by Life Science Leader magazine.
  • Having eight commercial products within a 15-product portfolio.
  • Having a very robust and vibrant contract business with small and emerging pharmaceutical companies.

And now, we’re at another inflection point for the company. We have agreed to be acquired by the Novacap Group, a billion-dollar French-based player in the pharmaceutical synthesis and advanced specialties industries.

Key Benefits of the Deal

  1. Our existing senior management team has signed long-term contracts and will remain in place.
  2. We’re keeping our name and will operate as a wholly owned but independent subsidiary of the Novacap Group. Our day-to-day operations, procedures, executives and personnel, devotion to customer service and communication will remain unchanged. Continuity is important to us and we are more committed to you than ever before.
  3. We will be the lead U.S. company for Novacap, which employs more than 3,000 people at 28 industrial plants worldwide, including 11 cGMP facilities, of which six are best-in class multi-purpose units with an attractive and diversified technology portfolio along with two R&D centers of expertise in Europe.
  4. With this deal we are creating a world leading CDMO, and can now offer:
    • An extensive range of services to the pharmaceutical sector based on access to their PCAS facilities in France and their Uetikon facility in Germany
    • Access to Novacap’s additional chemistry expertise, solid state chemistry development, dual site processing, and substantial additional capacity for the commercialization of the next generation of Life Science products.
  5. We will continue as we have in the past to invest in our staff, equipment and resources to solve all your analytical and drug substance needs.

While we were not looking to sell the company, we found a lot to like about Novacap’s values and vision. There has been tremendous consolidation in our industry over the last few years, and we saw this as an opportunity to offer our customers access to some of the best facilities and technical expertise in the world, significantly more than PCI Synthesis could have ever offered as a stand-alone company.

This month we will conclude our fifth consecutive year of year-over-year double-digit growth that would not have been possible without the hard work of our team and the trust that all of our partners and customers have placed in us during these last few years.

We have always strived to offer world class development and manufacturing services, pro-active project management, and the ability to scale up and supply all of our customers’ needs within one organization. We can now offer you more than ever.

After more than 20 years, this represents the next chapter in the lives of PCI Synthesis and our customers, and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Please let us know if you have any questions, now or in the future.