IDT Biologika Acquired for $244M by SK Bioscience to Fuel Global Expansion

Maryland CDMO gets cash infusion through strategic acquisition to strengthen SK Biosciences global footprint and capabilities

June 27, 2024

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SK Bioscience, a prominent South Korean vaccine developer and manufacturer, has taken a significant step towards global expansion by acquiring a 60% stake in German contract manufacturer IDT Biologika GmbH for 339 billion won ($244 million). This strategic acquisition marks a pivotal moment in SK Bioscience’s ambitious global growth plan, known as “SKBS 3.0,” initiated 17 months ago.

IDT Biologika, a 103-year-old company, is renowned for its expertise in vaccine production, ranking among the world’s top 10 in this sector. Previously owned by the Klocke Group, which retains a 40% stake, IDT Biologika operates major facilities in Dessau-Rosslau, Germany, and Rockville, Maryland, USA, employing 1,800 people. The acquisition is SK Bioscience’s first significant M&A deal since its $1.33 billion IPO in 2021, leading to an 8% rise in its share price following the announcement.

Enhanced Capabilities and Global Reach

The acquisition provides SK Bioscience with critical cGMP-level manufacturing infrastructure, positioning it to expand its portfolio in developed markets such as the United States and Europe. The company aims to advance into new biotechnological areas, including anti-cancer viruses and cell and gene therapy (CGT).

“SK Bioscience will secure cGMP-level manufacturing infrastructure to grow and develop into a global company,” the company stated. “Based on this, it will be possible to expand the portfolio targeting developed countries and advance into new bio areas such as anti-cancer viruses and cell gene therapy.”

IDT Biologika, which reported record revenues of 312 million euros ($328 million) in 2022, experienced a decline to 275 million euros ($297 million) in 2023. This acquisition is expected to stabilize and enhance its market position by leveraging SK Bioscience’s capabilities and resources.

Building a Synergistic Partnership

The partnership aims to create synergies by combining SK Bioscience’s expertise in vaccine development and production with IDT Biologika’s established reputation and extensive client network. Both companies share a vision of promoting human health through innovative biotechnologies and have committed to integrating their operations across the U.S., Europe, and Korea.

Carsten Klocke of Klocke Group expressed confidence in the collaboration, stating, “I am delighted with SK Bioscience’s decision to enter the future together with us. This shows that they value and trust our know-how, our scientific expertise, and our strong partnership with customers.”

Dr. Ulrich Valley, CEO of IDT Biologika, also highlighted the strategic alignment, saying, “IDT Biologika has built up an excellent reputation in the field of viral vaccines. SK Bioscience’s extensive expertise in the development and production of vaccines enables us to jointly expand our market position.”

Future Growth and Market Expansion

With this acquisition, SK Bioscience aims to more than double IDT Biologika’s revenue and achieve an operating profit exceeding 20% of sales. The deal is part of SK’s broader strategy to secure production capabilities and customer networks that meet the stringent quality standards of Europe and the U.S., and to build an integrated infrastructure connecting these regions with Korea.

Jaeyong Ahn, CEO and President of SK Bioscience, emphasized the strategic value of the acquisition, stating, “The main purpose of this deal is to establish a new growth base and to further expand our core businesses into global markets, including developed countries.”

The acquisition of IDT Biologika by SK Bioscience signifies a major leap towards globalization for the South Korean biotech giant. By integrating their strengths, the partnership is poised to make significant advancements in vaccine production, cell and gene therapy, and other innovative biotechnological fields, thereby contributing to global health and solidifying their presence in key international markets.