Pharma king: Chanelle bought by Exponent

East Galway success story Chanelle Pharma was founded in 1985 by Michael H Burke.

One of Ireland’s most successful homegrown businesses Chanelle Pharma has been sold by its founder Michael H Burke to equity player Exponent for an undisclosed sum.

The business, which was founded by Burke in 1985, today employs more than 730 people in Ireland, the UK, Europe and Jordan.

“Having dedicated my life to building Chanelle Pharma into a global company, I have decided the time is right to allow new owners to lead the company into its next phase of growth”

Internationally recognised as a leader in the global generics pharma industry, Chanelle Pharma provides a spectrum of services to its customers including research and product development, registration and production of generic pharmaceuticals for both Human and Veterinary Pharmaceuticals.

A life’s journey in life sciences

“Having dedicated my life to building Chanelle Pharma into a global company, I have decided the time is right to allow new owners to lead the company into its next phase of growth,” Burke said.

“I am very pleased that Exponent is acquiring Chanelle Pharma.  They value the heritage of our company and share our ethos and vision.  They have the expertise and resources to grow Chanelle Pharma with new investment across all our operations”. 

Exponent has a strong track record of successfully transforming and growing the companies they invest in.

The firm recently opened an office in Dublin and has made investments totalling over €1bn in Irish-owned or Irish-based businesses to date.  Chanelle Pharma is the firm’s 6th platform investment in Ireland.

“We are delighted to invest in Chanelle, a company we have admired for a long time,” said David McGovern, Partner at Exponent. “Our investment in Chanelle demonstrates our commitment to partner with market leading Irish businesses seeking to grow internationally and accelerate their growth. We look forward to working closely with Chanelle’s management team to strengthen its global presence and invest in its capabilities. We applaud Michael’s leadership of the business and thank him for trusting us to take Chanelle forward.”

James Gunton, Partner at Exponent, added: “We are thoroughly impressed with the business Michael has built over the last 40 years and Exponent is proud to be the next owner of Chanelle.  The business has established itself as a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer of both veterinary and medical products with an extensive portfolio of licenses.  We see tremendous opportunity in the development pipeline and look forward to bringing new products to market, as well as continuing to invest in Research and Development in the years to come.” 

The sale of Chanelle Pharma marks the end of an era as Burke will retire from the business. His legacy is a company which put Ireland on the global map for generic pharmaceutical manufacturing and provides valuable employment in his native Galway.

“I want to thank my management team, all our employees and our customers and suppliers who have supported me personally, and Chanelle Pharma over the past 40 years and I wish David, James and all in Chanelle Pharma continued success in the future”, he said.

Chanelle Pharma’s headquarters in Loughrea is located on a 17-acre site and includes three manufacturing plants, four research and development centres, warehousing and offices.  Its state-of-the-art Spot On manufacturing has FDA approval, allowing the company to export to the US. 

The Loughrea site manufactures generic pharmaceuticals for export to over 90 countries and works with the biggest generic companies across the world.   

The company’s success has been built on a strong product development pipeline. In the EU it holds the largest number of veterinary licences of any animal health company. 

It undertakes annual investment of some €8m in Research and Development of both human and veterinary animal health products. Under Michael Burke’s leadership the company has continually grown its business each year since 1985.

Chanelle Pharma will remain an Irish managed company with the current management team remaining in place.  

The sale is subject to approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Main image at top: Chanelle Pharma founder Michael H Burke

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