Pharmaceutical companies are looking to outsource manufacturing as they focus more on drug development, marketing and filling product pipelines with emerging biotech companies, says Paul Levy, founder of middle market private equity firm JLL Partners. This leaves an opening for private equity firms to get involved on the manufacturing side, which is what JLL is doing with a deal that gives the New York firm majority ownership of one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in the world.

In a transaction that closed in March, the firm took Canadian specialty-pharmaceuticals maker Patheon Inc. private and combined it with the manufacturing assets of Heerlen, Netherlands-based Royal DSM NV, creating DPx Holdings BV in a $2.6 billion deal.

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