General Atlantic Adds Healthcare Vet

In line with a recent surge in private equity investments into the healthcare sector, Greenwich, Connecticut-based General Atlantic LLC hired a former Schering-Plough executive to advise on its pharmaceutical practice.

The new hire, Brent Saunders, was formerly president of Schering-Plough’s global consumer health care unit. In his new position, he will be based in New York, and will report to Jonathan Korngold, head of the buyout firm’s healthcare unit. Saunders will serve as a special advisor.

Many of General Atlantic’s healthcare portfolio companies are healthcare support and healthcare services business. In speaking with Mergers & Acquisitions, Saunders said he plans to look “more broadly at healthcare opportunities, including healthcare and consumer products, medical products and medical devices.” He said he expects the pharmaceutical industry will continue to see consolidation, and predicted that the industry will gain more efficiencies through outsourcing. “I think you will see more innovative approaches to outsourcing,” Saunders said.

The move appears to be part of an attempt by General Atlantic to strengthen its healthcare practice. A year ago, the firm hired Dr. Mark McClellan, previously a commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration, to its healthcare practice as a special advisor.

The buyout firm acquired two sizable pharmaceutical platforms in recent years, purchasing WuXi PharmaTech in January 2008 and acquiring a minority stake in Jubilant Organosys Limited in July 2005. Since General Atlantic’s initial investment in Jubilant, the pharmaceutical company made several add-on acquisitions. In May 2008, Jubilant bought Speciality Molecules Pvt. Ltd., a specialty manufacturer for Rs. 199.5 million. In addition, Jubilant acquired TrialStat ClinicalAnalytics, an electronic data capture company, for about CAD 750,000, in November 2008. A month earlier, Jubilant made two add-on acquisitions, purchasing Spokane, Washington-based HollisterStier Laboratories LLC and India-based Draxis Specialty Pharmaceuticals Inc.

In January 2008, the private equity firm’s Chinese portfolio company WuXi PharmaTech acquired AppTec Laboratory Services, Inc.

Before joining General Atlantic, Saunders was on the executive management team of Schering-Plough and lead the company’s integration with Merck & Co. Previously, he was a partner and head of compliance business advisory at PricewaterhouseCoppers LLP.

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