Moria has begun its external growth strategy and taken control of Alchimia Srl, following discussions launched before the Covid-19 crisis. The manufacturer of instruments for retinal and cataract surgery, corneal grafting (keratoplasty), and refractive surgery, Moria has sales of €35 million and is diversifying by acquiring the manufacturer of ophthalmic products for retinal and corneal surgery with sales of more than €8 million in 2021, enabling it to balance its activities, broaden its offering and open up new geographies.
Accompanied by Potomac, Moria acquired 100% of the founders’ shares. The transaction was financed with equity (provided by the management team and Naxicap, a shareholder since 2019 – see below), debt, and a complementary 4-year unitranche financing provided by LGT. The transaction values the company at around ten times its EBITDA.
Diversification of product ranges
With its range of ophthalmic products – silicone oils, perfluorinated hydrocarbons, dyes, etc. – Alchimia was one of several targets identified and vetted by Potomac in Spain, Italy, and the United States. “The company generates two-thirds of its sales from products for retinal surgery, a growing segment that previously accounted for only 10% of Moria’s revenues. When we discovered that the remaining third was in the keratoplasty segment, it only amplified our interest because it is a segment in which Moria is very well established in the United States and around which the technical stakes are very high,” explained Virginie Lambert, Naxicap’s associate director. Moria, which will launch a new range of retinal products next year in the United States (25% of its sales) plans to accelerate its growth in this segment, which is expected to grow by 5 to 7% per year in the coming years. “With this acquisition, Moria is moving away from the sole focus on instrumentation for ophthalmic surgery. Alchimia will enable it to complete its range with highly technical pharmaceutical products and will also enable it to significantly strengthen its position in the United States, the most dynamic market in the world,” notes Thomas Méléard, Director at Potomac.
Sales of €50m this year
Initiated in 2019, discussions were suspended during the health crisis before resuming in mid-2021. In the meantime, Moria has focused on improving its operational performance, notably by consolidating its production activities on a single site and creating a clean room. Bruno Chermette, the company’s CEO, has also taken the opportunity to bolster management, with an industrial director and a regulatory affairs manager, and to recruit a general manager in the United States. “Both companies’ sales decreased in 2020 and the recovery was not as strong as expected in 2021. But they have now recovered their revenues and are experiencing double-digit growth,” comments the investor. The new combination could reach €50m this year, with both companies ahead of budget.” Other acquisitions are under consideration, including one for which Moria has signed an exclusive deal.