Essen BioScience Inc. has signed an agreement to be acquired by Sartorius, a leading partner to the biopharmaceutical industry and laboratories. Essen is currently owned by SFW Capital Partners, a specialized private equity firm that invests in mid-sized businesses providing analytical tools and related services. The transaction, which is subject to antitrust clearance, is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2017.
Sartorius will purchase Essen BioScience for $320 million in cash. Having achieved strong double-digit growth during the past few years, Essen expects to generate sales revenues of approximately $60 million in 2017 with continued strong levels of operating profitability. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, and with sales entities in the UK and Japan, the company currently employs approximately 150 people.
Through this acquisition, Sartorius will significantly expand its portfolio for bioanalytics, a field the company has recently entered via the IntelliCyt acquisition in 2016. “With the Essen real-time, live-cell analysis platform, we will add another key technology for advancing and accelerating drug discovery applications to our lab divisions’ portfolio”, said Joachim Kreuzburg, CEO of Sartorius. “This powerful technology offers important synergies with our IntelliCyt business. Going forward, Sartorius will be able to provide our customers the broadest and, we believe, the most innovative portfolio for cell analysis in the industry.”
Novel analytical methods are crucial to enable scientific progress in the rapidly advancing areas of immuno-oncology, antibody discovery and stem cell research. Essen BioScience has specialized in instrumentation, software and reagents for real-time live-cell analysis for more than a decade. The information delivered to users accelerates discovery and development of new drugs and provides new insight and understanding into the mechanisms of disease.
Welcoming the transaction, Brett Williams, the President and CEO of Essen, said, “We are excited to become part of Sartorius as a ‘Center of Excellence’ and build an industry-leading cell analytics portfolio together with the Intellicyt business. This is not only a great opportunity to build upon Essen’s market-leading position, but also to continue development and introduction of transformative solutions for life sciences. In addition, we believe that the combination with Sartorius will provide exceptional opportunities for sustained growth and development for our employees, customers and business partners.”
Sartorius will update its 2017 financial guidance for the lab division and therefore also for the Sartorius Group post closure of the transaction.