Vaccine vial maker Stevanato to fund new plants, M&A with IPO money -chairman

MILAN, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Italian vaccine vials maker Stevanato Group will use funds raised from its recent listing on the New York Stock Exchange to increase production capacity and for selected acquisitions, its executive chairman told Reuters on Thursday.

Demand for the firm’s products and services increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to its own estimates, it provides vials to about 90% of currently marketed COVID-19 vaccine programs.

The medical packaging company raised $453.5 million in its July IPO and aims to build two new plants, which will focus on its high-margin products, including a drug containment solution called EZ-Fill.

“We will invest between 150-200 million euros ($175 million-$234 million) each in two new plants, one in the United States and one in China,” Franco Stevanato told Reuters in an interview. He added that the new factories will produce EZ-Fill, pre-sterilised syringes and vials.

“We are scouting many potential M&A deals but we do not have anything specific in our radar screens yet,” Stevanato said.

“We want to buy something that is not in our product portfolio, something sophisticated,” he said, mentioning pen auto-injectors for drugs and other devices.

Stevanato Group was founded soon after World War Two and has expanded abroad under control of the founding family. Following the listing, it holds around 85% of the company, though Stevanato said it could eventually reduce its stake further, while still maintaining control.

The group said on Thursday its second-quarter revenue rose 26% to 204 million euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increased 52% to 61 million euros. ($1 = 0.8565 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Dan Grebler)