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Advent buys ICE in Italy

Private equity investor Advent International has acquired Industria Chimica Emiliana (ICE) after 40 years of ownership by the Bortoli family, who developed the first laboratory bile acids. ICE makes UCDA, an API used mainly in drugs that treat gastroenterological and chronic diseases. It has about 1,000 employees at its two main sites in Italy, plus India and the Americas.

Advent said that it will work with the Bortolis and the management team, including second generation chairman Enzo Bortoli, to strengthen the company’s support functions and capabilities, and develop new pipeline products to treat additional indications. “Future investments will focus on continuing to strengthen its raw materials sourcing and developing next generation production capabilities and expanding capacities at ICE’s manufacturing sites,” it said.

The UDCA market is growing as a result of macro trends like the ageing population and obesity mean that gastroenterological conditions are increasingly common. Further uses “are expected to expand, as it serves as a strategic input for newly developed drugs,” according to Advent.

Advent has invested $7 billion in 42 companies in the healthcare sector worldwide over the past 28 years. Recent healthcare investments include BioDuro, a Chinese CRDO and Zentiva, a European generic pharmaceuticals company.

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