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Bavarian Nordic Acquires Emergent BioSolutions' Travel Vaccines Portfolio for $270M

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Acquisition Overview

Bavarian Nordic, a leading biotechnology company focused on the development, manufacturing, and commercialization of life-saving vaccines, has reached an agreement to acquire a portfolio of travel vaccines from Emergent BioSolutions, a global life sciences company specializing in the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures. The transaction includes two marketed vaccines, Vivotif® (typhoid fever prevention) and Vaxchora® (cholera prevention), a Phase 3 vaccine candidate for Chikungunya virus prevention, related facilities, and approximately 280 key personnel. The total consideration for the acquisition amounts to up to USD 380 million, with an upfront payment of USD 270 million and up to USD 110 million in future conditional milestone payments. This acquisition will help Bavarian Nordic expand its vaccine portfolio and strengthen its position in the travel vaccines market.

Deal Structure

The acquisition is structured with an upfront payment of USD 270 million, financed through a combination of existing cash and proceeds from a private placement. Additional payments of up to USD 110 million are contingent upon the achievement of future milestones related to the successful development of the Chikungunya vaccine (USD 80 million) and sales performance of the marketed vaccines (USD 30 million). The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including antitrust regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the first half of 2023.

Bavarian Nordic Overview

Bavarian Nordic A/S is a public biotechnology company founded in 1992, with expertise in developing, manufacturing, and commercializing life-saving vaccines. The company operates in various countries, including the United States, Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Switzerland. Bavarian Nordic A/S focuses on a range of vaccines and treatments for diseases such as smallpox, monkeypox, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, Ebola, respiratory syncytial virus, SARS-CoV-2, and advanced HER2 and brachyury-expressing cancers.

Founded: 1992

Number of employees: 975

EV: DKK 12,199.2m

LTM Revenue: DKK 3,150.8m


Market Cap: DKK 13,843.1m


Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a life sciences company founded in 1998, specializes in providing preparedness and response solutions that address accidental, deliberate, and naturally occurring public health threats in the United States. The company's product portfolio includes vaccines and treatments for various diseases such as smallpox, anthrax, botulinum disease, Zaire ebolavirus, and cholera. Emergent BioSolutions is also involved in the development of innovative vaccines and treatments, including anthrax vaccine, chikungunya virus VLP vaccine, and universal influenza vaccine.

Founded: 1998

Number of employees: 2,500

EV: $1,182.4m

LTM Revenue: $1,120.9m

LTM EBITDA: ($25.7m)

Market Cap: $407.1m

Industry Insight

Market Growth: The global travel vaccines market was valued at around $4.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% between 2021 and 2028. Factors such as an increase in international travel, a rise in the prevalence of infectious diseases, and growing awareness about the importance of vaccination have contributed to this growth. Governments and international organizations are also focusing on the development and distribution of vaccines for travel-related diseases, which further fuels the market's expansion.

COVID-19 Impact and Recovery: The travel vaccines market experienced a temporary decline during the COVID-19 pandemic due to strict lockdown measures and travel restrictions. However, as countries gradually lift restrictions and international travel resumes, the demand for travel vaccines is expected to rebound. Additionally, the pandemic has increased public awareness of the importance of vaccination and its role in preventing infectious diseases, which could lead to a long-term positive impact on the travel vaccines market.

Technological Advancements: The travel vaccines industry is witnessing continuous advancements in vaccine development technologies, leading to more effective and safer vaccines. Innovations in vaccine manufacturing, such as cell-based production methods and adjuvant technology, have improved the efficacy and immunogenicity of vaccines. These advancements, combined with a strong pipeline of new vaccine candidates targeting various travel-related diseases, are expected to drive the growth of the travel vaccines market in the future.

Emerging Markets: The increasing demand for travel vaccines in emerging markets, such as the Asia-Pacific and Latin American regions, presents significant opportunities for growth. These markets are experiencing rapid economic development, leading to higher disposable incomes and an increase in international travel. The Asia-Pacific travel vaccines market is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 9.6% during the forecast period (2021-2028). As a result, the demand for travel vaccines in these regions is expected to grow substantially in the coming years, presenting new opportunities for vaccine manufacturers like Bavarian Nordic to expand their presence in these markets.

Key Market Players: Some of the leading companies in the travel vaccines market include GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Sanofi. The acquisition of Emergent BioSolutions' travel vaccines portfolio will strengthen Bavarian Nordic's position in the market and enable it to compete more effectively with these key players.

Strategic Rationale

The acquisition of the travel vaccine portfolio from Emergent BioSolutions aligns with Bavarian Nordic's vision of becoming one of the largest pure-play vaccine companies. The driving forces behind the transaction include the expansion and diversification of Bavarian Nordic's commercial portfolio and development pipeline, as well as the establishment of the company as a global leader in travel vaccines. By acquiring two market-leading, revenue-generating vaccines against cholera and typhoid fever, Bavarian Nordic is positioning itself as a strong competitor in the travel vaccines market, which is rebounding following the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Bavarian Nordic, the acquisition offers several benefits:

  • Enhanced commercial portfolio: The acquisition adds two market-leading, revenue-generating vaccines against cholera and typhoid fever, which are marketed in more than 25 countries across the US and Europe. This will allow Bavarian Nordic to capitalize on clear commercial synergies with its existing business in travel vaccines.

  • Expanded US and European market presence: The acquisition enables Bavarian Nordic to expand its US commercial sales, marketing, and distribution setup, as well as increase its scale in European markets where the company is not currently present.

  • Strengthened development pipeline: Bavarian Nordic will obtain global rights and R&D know-how to a promising late-stage vaccine candidate against Chikungunya, a disease with increasing prevalence and high unmet medical need. The Chikungunya vaccine has the potential to address a market worth more than USD 500 million annually.

  • Enhanced manufacturing capabilities: The acquisition includes a biologics facility in Bern, Switzerland, which not only ensures continued manufacturing of the acquired products but also enhances the flexibility of Bavarian Nordic's manufacturing setup and provides opportunities for insourcing the production of future commercial products.

For Emergent BioSolutions, the transaction offers the following advantages:

  • Focus on core business: By divesting its travel vaccine assets, Emergent BioSolutions can concentrate on its core business of medical countermeasures and public health threat solutions.

  • Value realization: The sale of the travel vaccine portfolio allows Emergent BioSolutions to unlock value from these assets, with up to USD 380 million in total consideration, including an upfront payment of USD 270 million and up to USD 110 million in future conditional milestone payments.

Overall, the acquisition is expected to be highly synergistic, enabling both companies to capitalize on their respective strengths and strategic goals.

Long-term Prospects

In my opinion, Bavarian Nordic's acquisition of the portfolio of travel vaccines from Emergent BioSolutions is a strategically sound decision that is likely to contribute positively to the company's long-term growth and vision. By acquiring two revenue-generating vaccines (Vivotif® and Vaxchora®) for the prevention of typhoid fever and cholera, Bavarian Nordic is positioning itself as a global leader in travel vaccines, which are rebounding following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The acquisition also broadens the company's development pipeline with a late-stage Chikungunya vaccine candidate that has significant synergistic market potential in areas with high unmet medical needs. As there are currently no approved vaccines against Chikungunya, this candidate represents a potential market worth more than USD 500 million.

Furthermore, the addition of a biologics facility in Bern, Switzerland, strengthens the company's manufacturing capabilities, providing flexibility and scale in production as it prepares for the launch of several new products over the next few years.

While the acquisition is expected to result in a short-term loss of approximately DKK 400 million to EBITDA in 2023 due to investments in the Chikungunya Phase 3 program and one-off integration costs, the long-term benefits of the acquisition are likely to outweigh these short-term financial impacts. The increased commercial presence, expanded manufacturing capabilities, and enhanced development pipeline provide a strong foundation for Bavarian Nordic to achieve its vision of becoming one of the largest pure-play vaccine companies.

Written by Olive FAN (Exeter College, Said Business School, University of Oxford)

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