NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Avista Capital Partners (“Avista”), a leading private equity firm focused on growth-oriented healthcare businesses, and G&W Laboratories, Inc. (“G&W Labs”), today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Avista to acquire G&W Labs’ extended topicals and dermatology business unit (“G&W Dermatology” or the “Company”). The transaction does not involve G&W Labs’ other businesses, including investments to drive efficiency in the pharmaceutical value chain and contract manufacturing operations in Sellersville, PA and Lincolnton, NC.
G&W Dermatology has a market-leading and diversified portfolio of approximately 35 self-labeled generic topical dermatology products that are currently marketed and sold in the U.S. In addition, the Company maintains partnership arrangements on a number of products and is a contract manufacturer for select products owned by other pharmaceutical companies. G&W Dermatology has a high-quality manufacturing facility with capabilities in suppository, cream, ointment, liquid, and gel development. In addition, the Company has a well-established R&D team and an active pipeline in various stages of development.
Walt Kaczmarek, an experienced generic pharmaceuticals executive, will become the Chief Executive Officer of G&W Dermatology upon the close of the transaction. Mr. Kaczmarek has more than 25 years of management experience in the pharmaceutical industry, spanning the value chain from development to manufacturing to sales and marketing. Most recently, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Aceto. Prior to Aceto, he held leadership roles at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Fougera Pharmaceuticals, and Nycomed. Fougera and Nycomed were both Avista portfolio companies.
Mr. Kaczmarek stated, “I am excited to begin working with my talented new colleagues at G&W Dermatology. The Company’s leading position in a niche market, along with a well-established R&D function and pipeline products, present a compelling growth opportunity that is sure to benefit each of the Company’s stakeholders. Importantly, I look forward to building on the Company’s commitment to serving patients and to meeting our strategic objectives. With Avista’s partnership, G&W Dermatology now embarks on a new and exciting chapter of growth.”
Sriram Venkataraman, a Partner at Avista, said, “We are excited to welcome G&W Dermatology to our healthcare portfolio. We look forward to working with Walt and the entire team, while leveraging Avista’s vast expertise in the healthcare sector to support the Company’s future development and expansion. Our investment in G&W Dermatology is a further example of Avista’s demonstrated ability to identify attractive niche health care assets and then acquire such businesses via a carve-out transaction.”
“G&W Labs was built with a mission of alleviating human suffering while serving customers and patients with quality products and remaining responsive to an ever-changing marketplace,” said Aaron Greenblatt, Chief Executive Officer, G&W Laboratories. “Avista’s vast expertise in the healthcare sector will help ensure a thriving future for our quality products, services, and highly talented employees.”
Avista’s legal advisor is Ropes & Gray LLP. G&W Labs’ financial advisor is J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. Its legal advisor is Reed Smith LLP.
About G&W Laboratories, Inc.
Carl Greenblatt founded G&W Laboratories, Inc. in 1919 upon his return from military service as a pharmacist with U.S. forces in World War I. While establishing a reputation as an innovative specialist in suppository dosage forms, Carl guided G&W Laboratories with an uncompromising commitment to product integrity and customer service. In 1945, Carl’s son, Burton, also a registered pharmacist, returned from military service in World War II and joined the small but growing company.
During the post-war years, G&W Labs expanded its product line beyond suppositories, into creams, ointments, gels, liquids, and oral medicines. G&W Labs moved to a larger state-of-the-art laboratory and production facility, which now exceeds 180,000 square feet in South Plainfield, New Jersey. G&W Labs has since added two additional facilities which have tripled its manufacturing footprint: a former Actavis plc facility in North Carolina and a former Teva Pharmaceuticals facility in Pennsylvania, adding to its broad portfolio and robust pipeline.
Burton passed the reins to his son, Ronald, who was CEO from 2009 until 2015, and remains Chairman of the Board, which named fourth-generation Aaron Greenblatt as CEO in 2015. Aaron continues to uphold the family and company legacy through his commitment to the company’s ethical standards, values, and patient focus through this significant growth journey.
Continuing the high ethical standards, patient focus and goal of helping people realize their potential established by Carl and his son Burton, and carried forward by Ron and Aaron Greenblatt, G&W Labs is still privately-held and family-owned and operated.
About Avista Capital Partners
Founded in 2005, Avista is a leading New York-based private equity firm with over $6 billion invested in more than 30 growth-oriented healthcare businesses. Avista targets businesses with strong management teams, stable cash flows, and robust growth prospects and utilizes a proactive, hands-on approach to create value in our portfolio companies. Avista’s Operating Executives and Advisors are an integral part of the team, providing strategic insight, operational oversight, and senior counsel that help drive growth and performance to create long-term value and sustainable businesses. (www.avistacap.com).