former investments

Business model

PharmaZell is a high-growth niche specialist for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) with attractive margins. Thanks to long-term customer relationships and a balanced customer structure, PharmaZell has held market leadership in its market segments for several years and is characterized by high market relevance, particularly in the area of research & development. In addition to its headquarters in Raubling, PharmaZell currently has over 500 employees and operates further facilities in Germany and India as well as a sales office in the USA. For its customers, which consist of global companies in the pharmaceutical, chemical and food industries, PharmaZell is a reliable partner that delivers clear added value on the customer side with customized solutions and a continuously growing product range.

Investment consideration

AUCTUS identified PharmaZell as a subordinate business unit within the Lubrizol Group, but one with a strong market position and enormous growth potential. The market for pharmaceutical products and generics shows a constantly growing demand, driven by structural changes within the demographic structure of many industrialized countries as well as the growing demand for affordable medicines in emerging countries. The expiry of many pharmaceutical patents in the next few years also favors the future growth of the market. In a stable and oligopolistic market, PharmaZell successfully operated as market leader in several segments.

Value enhancement

During the holding period of AUCTUS, PharmaZell’s sales tripled from €20 million to €60 million and the company established itself as the market leader in the inflammatory bowel disease and cold segments. Key measures here were primarily optimized cost control, improved working capital management and further savings through continuous improvements in the production process. In parallel with the acquisition of an existing plant in India, a modern manufacturing facility was newly built in Vizag, India, together with a highly efficient research and development department. These investments have significantly expanded production capacity while creating new product pipelines. Two core products in particular, as well as the patented manufacturing process, enabled impressive, previously unachieved growth rates while maintaining high profitability.


After a holding period of five and a half years, AUCTUS successfully sold its shares in the company to Ergon Capital Partners in 2011.

Sector Health
Field Pharma
Transaction type MBO, Carve-out, Growth
Country Germany, India