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11 May 1999 - Eurogentec has acquired Oswel Research Products Ltd.


Sart-Tilman, 11 May 1999 -  Eurogentec, a major Belgian company providing research and development services in the biopharmaceutical sector, has entered a new stage in its growth. Having made, at the beginning of 1999, a private investment of BEF 200 million, Eurogentec has acquired Oswel Research Products Ltd., a company which had a turnover of BEF 134 million in 1998. This acquisition fits in with a growth strategy which is both geographical and technological in scope.

Besides being a high-technology company which is active in a fast -growing sector and has an especially solid scientific and technological foundation, Eurogentec is also a highly profitable company. With the acquisition of Oswel Research Products Ltd., Eurogentec achieved a turnover estimated pro forma at BEF 635 million (+48%) during the financial year which ended on 31 March 1999. Operating cash flow is around BEF 140 million (+220%) and net current profit is BEF 100 million. The company expects a considerable increase in earnings during 1999.

Formed in 1985 as a spin-off of the University of Liège, Eurogentec is now orienting its business along two main lines: the production and sale of life science research tools on the one hand and research and development services for the biopharmaceutical industry on the other. Eurogentec is located in the Science park at Sart Tilman (Liège) and has recently opened a second site in the Hauts Sarts industrial park. The company has subsidiaries in France, Germany and the Netherlands and also has a branch office in Switzerland. It currently has around 150 employees, including 20 PhD's.

As regards research tools, Eurogentec already has nearly 4,000 clients and its field of action covers the main countries of Western and Northern Europe. As regards R&D services, Eurogentec has concluded several contracts with major biopharmaceutical companies, including SmithKline Beecham, Janssen Research Foundation, Novartis, Qiagen etc.

With a view to sustaining internal and external growth, Eurogentec made a private investment of BEF 200 million at the beginning of 1999, which has been managed by the Puilaetco Bank. When this transaction is completed, the members of the Delwart family, who hold a controlling interest, will own 77% of the company's shares, the employees will own 2% and the other shareholders (who include SRIW et Partners @ Venture) will own 21%. In the medium term, Eurogentec plans on applying for a listing on the stock exchange for a market suited to a fast-growing company.

The company's expansion strategy, which was adopted in 1998, is based on two criteria: geographical growth and enlargement of the technological base. The acquisition of Oswel Research Products Ltd., which was recently finalized, is an initial example, as it enables Eurogentec to have both a bridgehead in Great Britain and a greater technological capital and expertise.

Oswel Research Products Ltd. is a biotechnology company based in Southampton, Great Britain. It has 20 employees and in 1998 had a turnover of GBP 2.2 million (BEF 134 million) and a profit of GBP 0.7 million (BEF 43 million).

Eurogentec is currently increasing its laboratory capacity. The company sees major growth possibilities over the next few years in the production of generic medicines manufactured on the basis of biotechnology techniques, with the initial ones coming into the public domain in 2002. It also sees major growth possibilities in the development of DNA-based diagnostic kits.

Products and services

Eurogentec is organized as three specialized business units:

  • Life science research tools:
    development and manufacture of research tools such as oligonucleotides, synthesis and antibody peptides, DNA sequencing and various transgenics services.
  • Off-the-shelf products:
    activities relating to purchases and sales without inhouse production; transfection products; molecular biology, enzyme and biochemical compound kits.
  • R&D services for new biopharmaceuticals:
    subcontracting activities offered to the pharmaceutical industry for the development of new medicines produced with the aid of genetic engineering. The GMP (good manufacturing practices) production unit is equipped so as to ensure success for new molecules in the difficult transition from basic research in a laboratory to the stage of industrial production. In the case of pharmaceutical companies, subcontracting in a unit such as Eurogentec offers major advantages in terms of savings on financial investment, access to specialized expertise and fast development. The formation of a second GMP unit is being studied.

For any further information:

Jean-Pierre Delwart
Managing Director
Parc Scientifique du Sart Tilman
4102 Seraing,
Belgium
Tel: 32 (0)4 366 61 13 — Fax: 32 (0)4 365 16 04
email: j.p.delwart@eurogentec.com
web site: http://www.eurogentec.com


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