Drugs Health Pharma

Novo Nordisk buys 3 Catalent sites for $11bn to meet rising demand for Wegovy

Eli Lilly, a US company that forecasts revenue of up to $33.9 billion, plans to build a $2.5 billion plant in Germany to make devices for treating diabetes and obesity.

HQ Team

February 5, 2024: Novo Nordisk will acquire three manufacturing sites in an $11bn deal to expand its production of weightless drugs Ozempic and Wegovy, whose runaway success catapulted the Danish drugmaker’s valuation beyond $500bn this month.

The purchase of the sites is part of a three-way transaction announced on Monday in which Novo Holdings, the Danish group’s controlling shareholder, agreed to buy US drug manufacturer Catalent for $16.5bn. As part of the transaction, Novo Holdings has agreed to sell three of New Jersey-based Catalent’s manufacturing sites to Novo Nordisk. This acquisition aligns with Novo Nordisk’s long-standing collaboration with Catalent, Inc., a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization.

Focused expansion

The three specialized manufacturing sites, located in Anagni (Italy), Brussels (Belgium), and Bloomington (Indiana, US), are dedicated to the sterile filling of drugs. Catalent will now be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. Novo Nordisk is already using the three plants, which employ over 3,000 people, these sites play a crucial role in Novo Nordisk’s commitment to expanding its manufacturing capacity at scale and speed.

Novo Nordisk will acquire the sites for an upfront payment of 11 $billion, contributing to the company’s strategy of providing more treatment options for diabetes and obesity. The acquisition is anticipated to gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 onwards. Despite a projected low single-digit negative impact on operating profit growth in 2024 and 2025, the acquisition will not affect the DKK 20 billion share buyback program.


The completion of the acquisition is contingent on the merger of Catalent and the Novo Holdings subsidiary, expected by the end of 2024. Until then, Catalent will continue to operate independently. Post-acquisition, Novo Nordisk commits to honoring all customer obligations at the three Catalent sites. The upfront payment includes enterprise value for the sites and additional value for specific corporate assets and liabilities.

Regulatory approvals

Novo Nordisk has made financial commitments to Novo Holdings, reflecting the acquisition price for the three sites. The acquisition process will proceed with mutual transition services on customary terms and conditions.

Novo Holdings owns 28 per cent of the shares in Novo Nordisk but has 77 per cent of the voting rights. It is an investment group created to manage the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which has become the world’s largest charitable foundation on the back of soaring sales of anti-obesity drugs

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