Dechra to branch out into Croatian market with £36m acquisition

Dechra's development lab in Skipton.
Dechra's development lab in Skipton.
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Pet drugs firm Dechra Pharmaceuticals is to buy a 63 per cent stake in a Croatian listed pharmaceuticals business Genera in a deal that values Genera at £36m.

Dechra, which manufactures pharmaceuticals in Skipton, ​said Genera is the largest and oldest manufacturer of animal health products in Croatia.

Dechra is offering ​£16.60 per share, a 42.5 per cent premium to the closing price last Friday and an 81.6 per cent premium to the average price over the last three months.

Under Croatian takeover code, Dechra is required to make a mandatory offer for the remaining shares.

​Analyst Brian White at Shore Capital said: “For Dechra this appears to us to be a strategically important acquisition taking the company into one of the fastest growing segments in animal health (vaccines) ... as well as diluting the franchise from its current dependence on antibiotics which have been a source of pressure on sales and margins since the acquisition of Eurovet.”

Dechra said Genera ​has a strong market share in its local market and neighbouring countries. It operates three main divisions: Animal Health, which represents the majority of revenue, Agrochemicals and Human Pharmaceuticals.

The market for poultry vaccines was ​over £800m in 2013, representing 22​ per cent​ of the vaccine market, and is projected to grow ​by eight per cent a year until 2020.

​Dechra’s CEO​ Ian Page said: “This is a very positive step for both Dechra and Genera. We have known the company a long time and are keen to work with the experienced Genera team to build the business.”