Uptown Greenville, NC


New Owners of Metrics Hold Greenville Meeting

By Michael Abramowitz
The Daily Reflector

February 22, 2013 - Employees at the pharmaceutical technology company, Metrics, said, “G’day, mates” last week in Greenville to their new owners and corporate captains.

Mayne Pharma, the Adelaide, Australia-based pharmaceutical giant, conducted its first monthly board meeting in Greenville since acquiring the local drug development technology firm in October. Chairman Roger Corbett, who led the Greenville meeting, sat with his directors, including Metrics co-founder Phil Hodges, who guided the $120 million sale of the company.

Mayne Pharma bought the FH Faulding & Co. pharmaceutical firm three years ago and set its sights on global growth. It since has engaged in a whirlwind of activity after naming industry veteran Scott Richards as managing director and chief executive last February.

“When we brought (Scott) on board last year, it was, ‘Hold on to your arm rest, mate, because we’re on our way,’” Corbett said. “It’s been quite an exciting journey.”

The Metrics purchase was important to the company’s growth strategy, the Mayne Pharma chairman said. Funding was found primarily in the equity markets, and the return already has been a 25-percent share increase, Corbett said. Many Metrics shareholders who chose to take a portion of their proceeds from the sale in Mayne Pharma shares have, consequently, done well, he said. In addition, senior corporate leaders were given options that are expected to increase their wealth, as well.

Hodges committed to stay on as director of Metrics for a year after the sale, but Corbett is hoping for more.

“We’re delighted have Phil as a Mayne Pharma director, and he’s already making a great contribution, which is a great credit to the wonderful team here. We hope it will extend beyond his interim contribution to a permanent basis,” Corbett said.

The board chairman said he and the Australian members have been most impressed by the high degree of education and professionalism of the staff that Hodges put together at Metrics.

“They’re just outstanding people who have a unique work ethic and a culture of pride and cooperation. The consequence for us is a willingness to cooperate with their new colleagues in Australia and work together,” Corbett said.

The immediate payoff and value to Mayne Pharma of the Metrics acquisition is that it gives the corporation access to the world’s pharmaceutical sales market, half of which is in the United States, Richards said.

“We’re coming from a country that has one percent of that market, but we’ve got great technologies and products that are focused on markets here as the ultimate distribution point. Without Metrics, we would have to have given up a lot of that value by partnering with companies here for our distribution. We also can use the analytical chemists, formulators and manufacturing people here to help us reduce the time to market for some of these products in Australia and capture 100 percent of the value without having to give it away,” the CEO said.

Beyond that, Mayne Pharma will look for sales outlets of Metrics products in Australia and Europe through its already strong sales force, Richards said.

“The combination of the Mayne Pharma and Metrics pipelines and market portfolios, with no overlap, is fantastic,” he said. “There’s no redundancy. We’re now having very robust discussions about growth opportunities in both fee-for-service and direct product manufacture sales. We’re all excited on the board to take it to the next level.”

Hodges said his Metrics staff is very excited about the new work possibilities and opportunity for local growth. He said the company already has a number of new positions available for qualified employees.

Corbett, who also sits on the board of WalMart, talked about his country’s close ties with America, in business and other affairs.

“From our point of view, our relationship with America is one of the closest that exists anywhere in the world,” Corbett said. “There hasn’t been, since World War II, in which our troops haven’t been shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops. The cultures are similar, and we’re excited about this merger, symbolized by our flags sitting side-by-side outside the plant.”

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