The Recipharm story

The Recipharm story began in 1995. One of Pharmacia’s tablet factories in Årsta south of Stockholm was due for closure following a decision to outsource tablet production to Italy. Thomas Eldered, Works Manager at the plant and Lars Backsell, Head of Pharmacia’s Self-Care Division saw the plant’s potential and staged a management buyout. At the formation of Recip (as it was known), it had 140 staff, a turnover of SEK 220 million and in-house products with Apoteket as its primary customer.

The extrovert and overtly market-orientated Backsell plus the analytical, rather more reserved Eldered were a somewhat mismatched but successful pair of co-owners, complementing each other in personality and experience. They succeeded in getting the staff on side and rapidly created a strong business culture. Management and staff were both heavily involved and firmly dedicated to creating a complete company, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit was fostered. Comprehensive environmental work was initiated which gave the company a strong competitive advantage. The company’s environmental profile remains an important element of Recipharm.

Between 1998 and 2004, a further three plants for the manufacture of various preparations were acquired in Sweden and in 2001, the Recipharm brand was set up for outsourcing. A year later, the plants were reorganised into two separate subsidiaries. In 2007, the decision was taken to concentrate on outsourcing and the in-house products were sold off with the Group taking the name Recipharm. As a contract manufacturer, Recipharm’s customers are pharma companies which place production of their products outside their own operations.

2007 also saw the acquisition of the first factory outside Sweden, at Monts in France. Further acquisitions followed during 2007 - 2010 in England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and Spain. In April 2014 Recipharm became a publicly listed company on the Swedish Stock Exchange and during 2014 and 2015 more facilities were acquired. Milano based Corvette Pharmaceutical Services Group was acquired from LBO Italia Investimenti, Portuguese CMDO Lusomedicamenta Sociedade Técnica Farmacêutica S.A was added to the Group and Recipharm acquired a Flamel Technologies development facility in Pessac, France.

2015 saw the acquisition of Uppsala based OnTarget Chemistry, strengthening our development services offering. By the end of 2015, a facility from Alcon in France was acquired, adding the important blow-fill-seal technology to Recipharm's services offering. In October 2015, Recipharm announced its intention to acquire a majority stake in Indian CMO Nitin Lifesciences, creating a platform for emerging markets. The deal was finalised in April  2016, and Recipharm acquired the remaining shares in Nitin Lifesciences Limited in January 2018.

In March 2016, Recipharm acquired the Italian based CDMO Mitim to further develop its offering within beta lactams. In April 2016, Recipharm announced the strategic acquisitions of Kemwell's CDMO businesses in the US, Sweden and in India creating a leading global CDMO. The acquisition of the US and Swedish operations was finalised in May, and the acquisition of the Indian operations was finalised in February 2017.

In December 2017, Recipharm completed the acquisition of the Roche manufacturing facility in Leganés, Spain, signing a long-term agreement with a major new customer.

In October 2018, Recipharm completed the acquisition of the Sanofi’s inhalation contract manufacturing business including a manufacturing facility located in Holmes Chapel, UK.

In February 2020, Recipharm completed its largest acquisition to date. The acquisition of the UK listed company Consort Medical made Recipharm into one of the largest CDMOs in the world in terms of revenue. The acquisition complements Recipharm’s business and presents opportunities to develop its customer offering – such as in device development and manufacturing.

Today, Recipharm remains headquartered in Sweden and now includes around 30 manufacturing and development facilities in Europe, India, Israel and North America. The company is one of the oldest and most experienced CDMOs in the world and we are proud of what we have achieved. In the interests of all our stakeholders – long may this success continue.