Gako and FagronLab: Continuous innovation

M&A | 3 min read

Gako and FagronLab: Continuous innovation for the compounding laboratories

Gako is a German company, inventor and manufacturer of the Unguator advanced mixing technology for compounding pharmacies. It produces both the mixing machines as well as the plastic jars, with injection molding technology.

The UNGUATOR technology is well recognized as the original trademark product of gako. After a series of testing and developing for many years, gako was originally founded in the year 1992 with the initial patent “Mixing in a closed system”. At this time, the first Unguator B and defined jar sizes were introduced.

You can read here the complete story since the manufacturing of the first machine. The products and technology offer accuracy, convenience, and reproducibility of formulations for any compounding institution, globally – at GMP standards.

Besides Germany, gako also distributed its products in North America and defined territories in Europe at a very early stage. It grew its distribution network for the next decades and already worked with several Fagron companies in the world before joining the group. Since Gako joined Fagron in February 2020, it is also active as FagronLab Europe, introducing approximately 20 new products in the area of equipment and packaging (Fagron Pack).

The acquisition process

In 2016 Gako started producing the Unguator product line at its newly built and state-of-the-art facility in Schesslitz, Germany, where it is still located today.

Timo Normann, General Manager at Gako, defines the process of becoming a part of the Fagron Group as “very professional and well planned/evaluated together with the financial team and area leaders. As Gako and Fagron already had a long-standing business relationship, we knew each other’s companies and teams very well. It felt a bit like fiancées finally formalizing the relationship with a formal wedding.”

As Gako has been a family founded and owned business for two generations, Fagron spent a lot of time determining the strategy and positioning the company within a global organization. According to Johan Verlinden, Head of Legal & M&A, Fagron offers the opportunity of companies joining a global organization with a long-term vision dedicated to Personalizing Medicine through pharmaceutical compounding. “Often, we see that family-owned businesses have a fundamental concern for continued growth to further build on their legacy. More than typical aspects of an M&A process, the continuation and growth of the family founded business within Fagron’s global organization to leverage the foundations built by the family is crucial” he concludes.

The strategy

FagronLab™ branded (Unguator) products were already introduced (as OEM brand for Fagron) prior to gako joining the group in South America and Southern Europe in 2017.

Fagron and Gako have now a dual brand strategy: Gako continues to work with its long-time distribution partners, but now also offering FagronLab products via all Fagron local companies. As FagronLab Europe it offers and develops a continuously expanding portfolio of compounding equipment and packaging, contributing to the development of Fagron’s global leadership in Brands & Essentials.

Both brands share the same focus and values regarding quality, brand, and excellence, and help facilitating the improvement of the standards for personalized medicine. According to Timo, the partnership was a natural next chapter of their story: “Both companies have been working very close together in the past and joining the group completed the journey”. Only great things await in the future of this outstanding union!