New York, NY, October 3, 2011 – Avista Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, today announced that it has hired Håkan Björklund, the departing Chief Executive Officer of Nycomed, as Healthcare Operating Executive. Mr. Björklund worked closely with Avista on the development of Nycomed during Avista’s ownership of the company, which was recently sold to Takeda Pharmaceuticals Company Limited for Euro 9.6 billion.
Under Mr. Björklund’s leadership, Nycomed was transformed from a predominantly Scandinavian business into a global pharmaceutical company with leading market positions in Europe, Russia/CIS, Brazil and Latin America. In 2006, Mr. Björklund led the integration of Altana Pharmaceutical, a German-based company that Nycomed purchased for Euro 4.2 billion. He was also instrumental in growing Nycomed in the emerging markets, most recently through the acquisition of Guangdong Techpool Bio-Pharma Co., Ltd, a fast growing Chinese bio-pharmaceutical company, in 2010.
Thompson Dean, Co-Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Avista, said, “We are delighted to welcome Håkan to Avista. One of the top pharmaceutical executives in Europe, he possesses a deep understanding of the global healthcare market. Having worked closely with him for many years, I know that Håkan will bring extensive strategic, operational and investment expertise to Avista as well as strong relationships throughout the global healthcare sector.”
Newton Aguiar, the partner in charge of Avista’s European operations, added, “We are looking forward to working with Håkan on healthcare investments both in Europe and the US. Håkan built Nycomed into one of the fastest growing global pharmaceutical companies, in part, by expanding its presence in key emerging markets, particularly in Russia/CIS and Latin America. His experience will be invaluable to the healthcare management teams in Avista’s portfolio as they seek to grow their own businesses.”
Mr. Björklund said, “This is a very exciting opportunity. Avista is a leading private equity healthcare investor with a long track record of successful investments in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare services sectors. As CEO of Nycomed, I was deeply impressed by the sector expertise and supportive ownership philosophy that Avista brings to its investments. I am looking forward to helping other leading healthcare companies reach their full potential as a member of the Avista team.”
Before joining Nycomed, Mr. Björklund was Regional Director at Astra (now AstraZeneca) and, earlier, President of Astra Draco. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Coloplast A/S, Lundbeck A/S, and Atos Medical AB. He was also a director at Danisco A/S until its recent acquisition by Dupont. He holds a Ph.D in Neuroscience from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
In addition to Nycomed, Avista’s portfolio of healthcare companies includes INC Research, a leading clinical research organization; ConvaTec, a global leader in ostomy and wound care; Lantheus, a leader in diagnostic imaging; Navilyst Medical, a manufacturer and distributor of single-use fluid management and venous-access medical devices; BioReliance, a leading contract services provider focused on biological safety testing, toxicology, viral manufacturing, and laboratory animal diagnostic services; and VWR International, a leading global distributor of equipment and consumable supplies to the laboratory sector across all industries. In addition, during its time at DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, the Avista team was significantly involved in a variety of healthcare investments, including medical device companies such as Accellent and Kinetic Concepts; healthcare services companies such as Focus Diagnostics, Charles River Laboratories, and Fisher Scientific International; and pharmaceutical companies such as Warner Chilcott and Prometheus Laboratories.
About Avista Capital Partners
Avista Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm with offices in New York, Houston, and London. Founded in 2005, Avista's strategy is to make controlling or influential minority investments in growth-oriented energy, healthcare, media, industrial and consumer businesses. Through its team of seasoned investment professionals and industry experts, Avista seeks to partner with exceptional management teams to invest in and add value to well-positioned businesses. For more information visit www.avistacap.com