Swiss pharma company pays $5.5 bn for US capsule maker

Swiss pharmaceuticals and life sciences group Lonza said Thursday it had bought US capsule maker Capsugel for $5.5 billion as it focuses more on health care.

The deal includes refinancing Capsugel's existing debt of $2 billion and is set to be finalised by the second quarter of 2017, Lonza said in a statement.

Buying Capsugel "meets Lonza's strategic and financial goals", chief executive Richard Ridinger said in the statement.

"It accelerates our healthcare continuum strategy by giving us broader exposure to the fast-growing pharma and consumer healthcare markets," he added.

Both companies' boards of directors have approved the .

Lonza said that within three years it expected to achieve 30 million Swiss francs (27.9 million euros, $29.3 million ) per year in operating synergies and 15 million Swiss francs in tax synergies a year.

Capsugel, which is based in New Jersey, was purchased from Pfizer in 2011 by private equity firm KKR.

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© 2016 AFP

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