Micron: Rock-and-roll drugmaker LBO deal

Arlington Capital Partners, Washington, has helped Micron Technologies Inc. chief executive Joseph Drost and his colleagues buy the Malvern-based pharmaceutical particle engineering and analysis firm from Fairmount Partners, Philadelphia, for an undisclosed price.

UPDATE: from Fairmount partner Neal McCarthy: Micron employs around 60 at its Chester county headquarters and another 50+ in Dartford, the English town where the Rolling Stones were formed (half a century ago, people.)

Says McCarthy: "The main service of the company is “jet milling” which uses the force of a jet engine to smash particles into each other to make them tiny - basically a bunch of whirling bits of drug product in a contained jet of air... We called it Project Rolling Stones.

"In the simplest sense, micronizing helps make drugs easier to get into the body, so you can give people less of a drug and still get the proper effect.

"Kind of like putting a cube of sugar into you coffee, versus granulated – the granulated has more surface area so it dissolves better.

"The reduced dosage often reduces the negative side effects – to paraphrase [the ancient physician] Paracelcus, 'It is the dose the makes the poison.'"

 EARLIER: Micron counts big pharma companies among its clients, according to a statement by Matt Altman, a partner at Arlington, which says it's invested $1.5 billion in "middle market" firms in healthcare, military, software and government contracting. His colleague David Wodlinger called Micron "an ideal platform" for boosting sales to pharma companies.

“We are enthusiastic about building upon the Company’s leadership position" with Micron's backing, Drost said in the same statement. "Arlington has a successful history of investing in healthcare and pharmaceutical services." Example: contract drugmaker Cambridge Major Labs, which Arlington bought with its managers for $90 million, expanded, and sold to American Capital recently for $212 million.

Law firm Greenberg Traurig advised Arlington; Fairmount Partners advised Micron.