Case

ChemConnection: The Search for a Partner for the Future

The ChemConnection story

Two years ago the newspaper Trouw headlined 'The tears of Oss clothed in pride'. After the mass dismissal of 1100 researchers at MSD in 2011, the Oss Pivot Park came back with the development of dozens of start-ups. One of these is ChemConnection, founded in 2012 by CEO Gerjan Kemperman and COO Ferry Brands. The Oss-born 'promising entrepreneurs of 2014' have been operating with their company under the Ardena Group banner since last month. "With Florijnz we have discovered the scenarios and opportunities for the future," says Kemperman.

Former DGAs Chemconnection

Built from the ground up

Gerjan and Ferry know each other from the time they were colleagues at Organon in Oss, best known for bringing the birth control pill on the market in the sixties. They decide to continue together when parent company MSD sells the research department in 2011 and they move into an empty building with laboratory space at the Pivot Park.

With ChemConnection, they help pharmaceutical companies engaged in early drug development. Once these companies have discovered a new potential drug, larger quantities of their new substance are needed to conduct safety studies on animals and then clinical studies on humans. ChemConnection has the knowledge, equipment and quality systems to develop and produce those new human pharmaceuticals, in the right amount of kilograms needed and with an eye for quality and safety. All in all "a technical tour de force", according to Gerjan.

Eye for the outside world

The men had been working for five years - at that time ChemConnection had sixty employees - when the increased market demand for a total package of services made them decide to take the next step in their business process. Gerjan: "In the pharmaceutical industry, too, consortiums of companies are forming, each providing their own specific services and thus - like the beads on a chain - being able to offer a broader package of services, for example an entire clinical supply chain, to the small companies we work for."

For example, the umbrella drug developer Ardena Group contacted ChemConnection; they would like a producer of active ingredients for medicines to join them. At that time Gerjan and Ferry had just started discussions with Florijnz. "As an independent and expert party in the field of corporate finance, they have an eye for the choices the entrepreneur faces. That was immediately clear with the knock on the door of Ardena and two other parties: who are you going to talk to and how do you present yourself as a company? Florijnz presented us with the various possibilities that could take our company to the next step and we got to know the world outside our company better," says Ferry.

Realistic opportunities

With a 29-page company profile, Florijnz introduced ChemConnection to that world. Gerjan: "The expertise here was demonstrated by the realistic growth scenarios and forecasts for our company for 2020. The input of Florijnz was crucial here; we could not have put together such a beautiful and thorough story with all the information that parties need for the assessment and valuation of ChemConnection."

"All the elements needed to make an acquisition successful - process knowledge, financial and legal expertise, negotiation skills and achieving a sustainable transaction - are present at Florijnz," Ferry continued. "Just as we now form a supply chain with other companies under the wings of the Ardena Group with our specialist knowledge, Florijnz has also offered us a total package of knowledge. They were the first to see in the Ardena Group our partner for the future!"

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