BioPharma Engineering deal will see Cork company expand globally


Irish life sciences design company BioPharma Engineering has been acquired by US group Unispace for an undisclosed sum, with the expanded company planning a new centre of excellence here.

The deal will allow BioPharma to expand its business in key markets across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Founded in 2006, Cork-based BioPharma designs and delivers laboratory, research and manufacturing facility space for global pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. It has about 100 employees based at its Cork and Dublin offices and is currently recruiting for further roles in Ireland.

Latest accounts for BioPharma Engineering Ltd show that it recorded turnover of €5.2 million in 2020, down from €5.9 million in 2019. Its accumulated profits reduced at the end of the year to just under €1 million from just under €1.5 million in the previous 12 months.

The directors of the business owned 72 per cent of the equity at the end of 2020, according to the accounts. The company closed 2020 with 30 employees.

Put and call

The accounts also note that on May 13th, 2021, the company redeemed and cancelled 155 ordinary shares for a consideration of €651,750 based on a put and call option agreement dated November 2nd, 2020.

Following the completion of the deal, BioPharma Engineering will become known as BPE, a Unispace life sciences company. The Unispace Global Life Sciences Centre of Excellence will be established in Ireland to deliver and grow the global life sciences business within Unispace’s network.

John O’Reilly, founder and managing director of BioPharma Engineering, said the announcement ensured BioPharma had the resources, infrastructure and investment to expand globally and rapidly. “Our growth in the life sciences sector to date has been highly successful, and we are focused on accelerating Global workplace strategy, design and construction firm Unispace has more than 48 offices in 26 countries worldwide.

‘Skyrocketing demand’

“Life sciences companies are challenged with expanding their footprint rapidly to meet skyrocketing demand,” said Steve Quick, chief executive of Unispace. “Partnering with BPE is a natural move for us and will allow us to build on the work we have delivered to date for life sciences clients. It will allow us to meet this moment for our many global clients in this industry, bolstering our unique model created to design and deliver spaces that support people, innovation and business growth under today’s necessary yet radically compressed timeframes.”

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney welcomed the news. “Cork is already home to nine of the 10 of the world’s top life sciences companies, and the new Unispace Centre of Excellence for Life Sciences further solidifies the region as a globally renowned talent and competency hotspot for the pharma and medtech industries,” he said.

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