SK Biotek acquires BMS facility in Ireland

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Jun 19, 2017 - 16:11
  • Updated : Jun 19, 2017 - 17:22
SK Biotek, a subsidiary of SK Holdings, said Monday that it will be acquiring a manufacturing facility in Ireland from global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, paving the way for the company’s entry into the European market.

The facility, which manufactures small molecule active pharmaceutical ingredients, is located in Swords, Ireland. It has an 81,000-liter capacity and currently manufactures ingredients for medications including the prescription blood thinner Eliquis produced by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. 

SK Biotek will operate the facility as a stand-alone contract development manufacturing organization, according to Bristol-Myers Squibb. SK is the first Korean company to acquire an entire production facility from a global pharmaceutical company.

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Swords facility to be operated by SK Biotek (SK Biotek)

The acquisition agreement includes a deal to add marketing and research and development employees, and to have SK continue to supply AstraZeneca through the plant.

“BMS was highly selective in finding a CMDO to operate the Swords plant because the acquisition included a major existing supply contract,” an SK official said. “SK Biotek has been supplying BMS with pharmaceutical ingredients for the past 10 years, and this deal shows that SK’s quality control and exclusive technology, such as continuous catalyst reactions, have been recognized in the global market.”

Bristol-Meyers Squibb said in a statement that the transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.

SK Biotek said that it expects the Swords plant to add significantly to revenues, as it produces pharmaceutical ingredients for medications that have growing demand in aging societies, such as those against cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

SK Biotek has been producing active pharmaceutical ingredients for the past 20 years, with 90 percent of its products exported to global pharmaceutical firms in North America and Europe. The company surpassed 100 billion won ($88 million) in revenue last year. It hopes to reach 1.5 trillion won in revenue and 4 trillion won in company value by 2020, according to the firm.

By Won Ho-jung (