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Scoop: Empower Pharmacy seeks financial partner

Sep 13, 2022
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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Empower Pharmacy, a Houston-based compounding pharmacy targeting integrated health and wellness, is seeking an investment, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Private equity has a reputation for being acquisitive in compounding pharmacy — and Empower's growth profile and attractive end-markets suggest the asset will likely draw strong interest.

Driving the news: The founder-run company has mandated Cantor Fitzgerald for financial advice, with outreach to financial sponsors kicking off early this week, sources say.

  • The process could produce either a minority investment or majority recapitalization, sources add.

By the numbers: The company, growing at a more than 30% clip over the last three years, is marketing close to $160 million of run-rate revenue off of EBITDA in the low $30 million range, sources say.

  • Revenue and EBITDA are projected to climb to about $200 million and $50 million in 2023, respectively, they say.

Details: Empower is seeking capital to fund the development of a new 503B facility that will substantially increase its growth trajectory and capacity over the next decade, one source says.

  • It already has an advanced FDA-registered 503A compounding facility.

How it works: Empower, founded in 2009 by CEO Shaun Noorian, provides compounding pharmacy solutions for various health and wellness end-markets.

  • Empower offers customizable medications across women's health, men's health, fertility, hormone replacement, weight management, dermatology, and IV therapy (nutritional, vitamin B-12, etc.).
  • The company delivers to patients and providers in all 50 states with a 24-hour average turnaround time, per its website.
  • Empower compounds more than 2,000 custom-made medications, per a mid-2021 news release.

State of play: Empower is unique in its end-market focus areas, but private equity participation in the compounding pharmacy arena isn't new. In notable activity...

  • Vistria Group and Excellere Partners in January 2021 invested in SCA Pharmaceuticals, an FDA-registered compounding pharmacy. The deal provided an exit for Enhanced Healthcare Partners.
  • Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in November 2021 acquired a majority stake in Leiters, an FDA-regulated 503B outsourced pharmaceutical compounding company, from investors including Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Frazier Healthcare Partners.
  • Bain in 2015 acquired QuVa Pharma, a 503B manufacturer of compounded, ready-to-administer injectables, from Helix. Goldman Sachs Private Credit and Owl Rock Capital Partners injected $275 million in debt financing into the business in May 2021.

💭 Our thought bubble: Considering Bain's seven-year plus hold, QuVa also looks ripe for potential picking.

Empower did not immediately return a request for comment, while Cantor declined to comment.

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