Danaher entering pureplay CDMO space in $9.6bn Aldevron buy

Danaher Corporation will add protein production, plasmid DNA, and mRNA services to its bulging life sciences portfolio through the acquisition of Aldevron.

The deal will see Danaher Corporation buy North Dakota-headquartered contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Aldevron from private equity firm EQT for $9.6 billion.

The business will operate as a standalone within Danaher’s Life Sciences segment, which includes such businesses as bioprocessing firms Pall Corporation and Cytiva, bought for $13.8 billion and $21 billion, respectively.

Image: iStock/AndreyPopov

Through the acquisition, Danaher adds contract manufacturing services. Specifically, Aldevron makes plasmid DNA, messenger RNA (mRNA), and recombinant proteins for biopharma clients from its facilities in Fargo, North Dakota and Madison, Wisconsin.

Commentators were quick to applaud the deal, with Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Kumar saying it is a “big move” for Danaher.

“This literally checks all the boxes for Danaher (strategic, rev and margin accretive) and should allay fears related to testing drop off. All in, this seems to be just what investors were expecting.”

Jefferies’s Brandon Couillard, meanwhile, highlighted the high demand, low capacity within the plasmid DNA space as a major driver of both this deal and the recent acquisitions of Delphi and Vigene by Catalent and Charles Reiver, respectively.

“Aldevron has the world’s largest GMP facility dedicated to plasmid DNA & its plasmid DNA database built over 20+ years is unmatched,” he wrote. “We think Aldevron’s recent capacity expansion underscores the future demand for this critical raw material used to develop/manufacture cell and gene therapies (CGTs) as the number of clinical trials expands.”

At the time of going to press, neither EQT nor Danaher responded to requests for further information.

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