French private equity firm PAI Partners agreed to acquire French specialty pharmaceutical company Ethypharm from Paris-based private equity firm Astorg Partners, for about €750 million ($855 million) Reuters reported.

The deal values the business at more than 12 times 2015 EBITDA of €60 million. The company is said to have generated revenues of €186 million in 2015. Ethypharm acquired UK drugmaker DB Ashbourne in 2015.

Rothschild was hired last October to act as financial advisor to Astorg in connection with the sale. PAI is said to have outbid competing offers from US private equity firm Bain Capital, European pharmaceutical firm Mundipharma, and Chinese firm Luye Pharma Group.

Astorg had acquired 60% of Ethypharm in 2007 in a €300 million MBO. The management team retained an equity interest of 29% in the company, while existing investors Intermediate Capital Group and other investors held the remainder of the equity.

The move comes less than three months after Astorg and Goldman Sachs acquired Paris-based HRA Pharma, a specialty pharmaceuticals leader in niche areas of women’s health and endocrinology including emergency contraceptives, from its founders and The Riverside Company.

Ethypharm, one of the world leaders in the development and manufacturing of oral DDS, supplies both major pharmaceutical groups and generics players with high-end drugs that feature particular absorption technologies. Drug Delivery Systems provide major benefits including improving the drug efficacy, enhancing patient compliance and comfort, extending the life cycle of existing drugs, and reducing the total cost of treatment.

Founded in 1977 in France by Gérard Leduc, its current chairman and CEO, and Patrice Debregeas, Ethypharm is today a global company which employs 900 people in several production and/or R&D facilities based in France, Canada, China and India. Ethypharm presents a fully integrated business model, servicing client needs from R&D – with the development of patented drugs and technologies1 – to the registration and manufacturing of turnkey products, approved by the regulatory bodies and ready to be marketed. The company’s portfolio currently comprises approximately 50 products sold to more than 140 customers worldwide. Ethypharm is headquartered in Saint-Cloud, near Paris,

PAI Partners is a major European private equity firm and is the largest private equity investor headquartered in France. It is one of Europe’s oldest and most experienced investors with its origins dating back to the original investment business of Paribas, which started operations in 1872. The firm manages and advises dedicated private equity funds with total assets under management of €8.1 billion. Since 1994, PAI has led 58 buyout investments in 11 countries, for a value of c. €40 billion. PAI makes controlling investments in leveraged buyouts acquiring majority stakes in mid to large size European companies that are leaders in our five core sectors. With professionals from seven European countries and teams in Paris, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Stockholm, PAI combines local market depth with strong pan-European capabilities and perspective.

Astorg Partners is an independent private equity fund management company, specializing in European mid-market buyouts, with total funds under management of over €4 billion. Astorg seeks to partner with successful and entrepreneurial management teams, to acquire businesses – very often family-owned – with attractive growth prospects, which Astorg supports through the provision of experienced governance and adequate capital. Astorg enjoys a distinct entrepreneurial culture, a long-term shareholder perspective, and a lean decision-making body enhancing its reactivity. Although a multi-sector investor, Astorg has developed solid industry expertise in healthcare, business-to-business professional services and niche industrial companies selling differentiated, often technology-driven, products. Established in 1983, Astorg became an independent investment management company in 1998 and has since then conducted 33 buyout investments. Astorg is headquartered in Paris and has offices in London and in Luxembourg, plus senior advisors based in Holland, Switzerland and Germany.

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