Unispace buys Cork’s BioPharma Engineering

Irish life sciences design player BioPharma Engineering has been acquired by global strategy, design and construction giant Unispace for an undisclosed sum.

As a result Unispace plans to establish a Global Life Sciences Centre of Exellence to grow the business worldwide

BioPharma Engineering designs and delivers laboratory, research and manufacturing facility space for global pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. 

“Cork is already home to nine of the 10 of the world’s top life sciences companies, and the new Unispace Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences further solidifies the region as a globally renowned talent and competency hotspot for the pharma and medtech industries”

During 2021, the company completed more than €150m in capital expenditure projects, many of which were for Covid-19 medication manufacturing sites. The partnership with Unispace, which has over 48 offices in 26 countries worldwide, will support the firm’s continued expansion across key markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Growing life sciences market

The life sciences market is experiencing sustained growth, with a strong focus on speed-to-market in the development of pharmaceuticals.  The integration of the BioPharma Engineering team and Unispace’s global platform enables the organisation to capitalise on the enormous opportunity to continue to provide innovative solutions, world class facility design and exemplary customer service to a wider global pharma market. 

“Our growth in the life sciences sector to date has been highly successful, and we are focused on accelerating this impressive growth,” said BioPharma Engineering founder and managing director John O’Reilly.

“Today’s announcement and union with global workplace design leader, Unispace, ensures that we have the resources, infrastructure and investment to expand globally and rapidly, while continuing to lead with the talent and expertise that we have built in Ireland, through our Cork and Dublin offices.”

The company is actively hiring for several roles based in Ireland.

“Life sciences companies are challenged with expanding their footprint rapidly to meet skyrocketing demand,” said Steve Quick, CEO of Unispace.

“Partnering with BPE is a natural move for us and will allow us to build on the work we have delivered to date for life sciences clients. It will allow us to meet this moment for our many global clients in this industry, bolstering our unique model created to design and deliver spaces that support people, innovation and business growth under today’s necessary yet radically compressed timeframes,” Quick added.

“With BioPharma by our side, we can’t ask for a better partner to propel this growth.”

The acquisition was welcomed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, TD.

“Cork is already home to nine of the 10 of the world’s top life sciences companies, and the new Unispace Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences further solidifies the region as a globally renowned talent and competency hotspot for the pharma and medtech industries,” said Coveney. 

“This partnership between an Irish design engineering firm and a global workspace giant exemplifies the talent and expertise as well as ambition that epitomises Irish businesses.  I wish BPE, a Unispace Life Science company, continued success in the future.”

Main image at top: Unispace COO Claire Shepherd with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney and BioPharma Engineering founder and MD John O’Reilly.

John Kennedy
Award-winning ThinkBusiness.ie editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.

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