Uptown Greenville, NC


Australian Firm Acquires Metrics

By Michael Abramowitz
The Daily Reflector

October 5, 2012 - Mayne Pharma Group Limited, a publicly held company based in Melbourne, Australia announced Thursday that it has agreed to a merger acquisition of Greenville-based Metrics Inc.

The local privately owned provider of contract development services to the pharmaceutical industry will be paid $105 million up front plus further earn-out payments of up to $15 million next year.

Metrics’ 56-year-old co-founder and chief executive Phil Hodges announced the merger to his 300 employees. He told them that their positions will remain secure after the merger and the company will continue the same day-to-day operations under the same brand. Metrics will continue to be led by its current senior management team and operate out of its existing Greenville facilities.

The only change to Metrics’ business will be new access to enhanced resources, operational best practices and intellectual capital, providing more opportunity for increased success for Metrics, Mayne Pharma and the customers the two companies serve, Hodges said.

“I’m committed to it,” he said. “I will be president of Metrics Inc., for the next 14 months and nothing really changes here except that we’ll now be an independently operated subsidiary of a public Australian company.

“Metrics has built a high quality operation over the past 18 years, with two different yet complementary faces: a contract services business and a niche generic product development business.” Hodges said. “Mayne Pharma offers a unique strategic fit for Metrics that will allow our combined companies to become a global specialty pharma and development services group.”

Mayne Pharma’s CEO Scott Richards agreed that Metrics is complementary to Mayne’s existing business in its products, services and the markets in which it operates.

“In addition to providing scale in the U.S. market, Metrics brings additional technical capabilities and cross-selling revenue opportunities,” Richards said. “We have known Metrics’ senior management team for some time and they have a solid track record of success in the U.S. generics industry.”

Closing of the acquisition remains subject to completion of financing arrangements by Mayne Pharma and approval of Metrics’ shareholders.

The acquisition was approved by Metrics’ board of directors on Monday. It will be finalized and take effect on Nov. 13, Hodges said.

Hodges stood next to Pitt County land developer Collice Moore Sr. after the announcement and credited him for much of the firm’s early success.

“Collice, Parker Overton and Harvey Lewis believed in me and what we were doing and helped us get this building up,” he said.

Moore said he noticed Hodges’ work ethic when the entrepreneur rented his first building from him.

“I didn’t think they would be there but three years and then be gone,” Moore said. “But I noticed they were already at work each day when I was on my way to work, and when I passed by on my way home, they were still there working. I’d go deer hunting and pass by at 6 a.m. on Saturday and they’d be here working. That aggravated me to see someone outworking me. So we invested our money in Metrics because we believed in the people here.”

Wanda Yuhas, director of the Pitt County Economic Development Commission, described Hodges as a visionary.

“He believed in the people of Pitt County and the possibilities for doing business here,” Yuhas said. “He could have taken this business to the (Research Triangle Park in Raleigh), but he believed he could make it successful right here.”

Hodges said the company had received offers from interested buyers in the past but he did not believe it was ready for sale until now.

“We were waiting for the right time and the right buyers,” he said. “Mayne was the right choice for us because there will be no duplication or overlap, just a synergy, a good fit.”

Hodges told his staff he will step aside from Metrics after his contract ends and relax more with his wife, but said he doesn’t plan to retire. As a self-described serial entrepreneur, he is involved with two startup medical device companies in RTP and a drug company.

The executive is a founder and board member of the new Bear Grass Charter School in Martin County and is chairman of the Bear Grass Educational Foundation.

Metrics was founded in 1994 as a contract analytical laboratory by Hodges, a former Burroughs-Wellcome scientist, and East Carolina University professor John Bray.

Mayne Pharma was founded in 1845 as F.H. Faulding & Co., with an intellectual property portfolio built around the optimization and delivery of oral dosage form drugs. It has launched and marketed numerous products through partnerships with licensees in various countries around the world.

Contact Michael Abramowitz at mabramowitz@reflector.com or 252-329-9571.