(Corrects Sfr-dollar conversion in fourth paragraph)
Dec 15 (Reuters) - Swiss pharmaceutical manufacturer Lonza Group AG said on Thursday it is buying Capsugel, a U.S. maker of capsule products and other drug delivery systems, for $5.5 billion in cash.
"The acquisition of Capsugel meets Lonza's strategic and financial goals," Lonza Chief Executive Richard Ridinger said in a statement.
"It accelerates our healthcare continuum strategy by giving us broader exposure to the fast-growing pharma and consumer healthcare markets."
Lonza said it intended to raise new capital of up to 3.3 billion Swiss francs ($3.22 billion) to finance the deal, expected to close in the second quarter of 2017 subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions.
It also secured committed debt financing for the full acquisition amount from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS. Jefferies LLC is Lonza's lead financial adviser, the company said, while Goldman Sachs is sole financial adviser to Capsugel.
Reuters reported on Monday that Lonza was in advanced talks with private equity firm KKR & Co LP, Capsugel's current owner.
Based in Morristown, New Jersey, Capsugel manufactures empty two-piece hard capsules as well as finished dosage forms for drug delivery. It serves more than 4,000 corporate customers in over 100 countries and employs approximately 3,600 people across 13 facilities on three continents.
The Swiss group said it expected to achieve 30 million francs of yearly operating synergies by the third year and 15 million francs in yearly tax synergies.
The deal includes refinancing of existing Capsugel debt of approximately $2 billion.
Lonza said it intended to maintain its current dividend policy and leverage of roughly three times net debt per earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. ($1 = 1.0245 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)