In the race to supply vaccines to end the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. drug developer Novavax turned to emerging Europe to speed up production with a pair of deals that endorsed a growing trend for consolidation in the region.

As part of a doubling in merger activity, buoyed by a combination of private equity and big pharma, Novavax (NVAX.O) bought the Praha Vaccines factory near Prague in a $167 million transaction last May. It followed up by partnering with Polish biotech company Mabion (MABP.WA) in March

For private equity, there is the lure of high returns, while big pharma can reduce costs by buying growing firms that have carried out large amounts of research and the location in the European Union means widely recognised standards are met.

The total value of inbound deals with disclosed value in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry in central and eastern Europe doubled to 1.9 billion euros ($2.31 billion) in 2020 from 932 million euros a year earlier, a report from consultancy Merger market and Mazars found.

Read more/Source: Reuters

BY: Michael Kahn, AnnaKoper, Agnieszka Barteczko