Stirling Ultracold fifth acquisition in 2 years for BioLife

Supplier of services and bioproduction tools BioLife Solutions has merged with developer and manufacturer of ultra-low temperature freezers Stirling Ultracold.

“We continue to execute on our M&A strategy with another acquisition that superbly complements our product portfolio. Combining Stirling’s -20°C to -86°C freezer systems with our liquid nitrogen products provides complete ultra-low temperature cold-chain infrastructure critical for personalized medicine,” said BioLife’s CEO, Mike Rice.

The transaction is expected to close during the early second quarter of 2021 with BioLife planning to keep Stirling’s existing staff in Athens, Ohio and maintain business-as-usual for its existing partners and customers.

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During BioLife’s Q4 financial report this week, Rice said “With this acquisition, we now have complete cold chain freezer line from minus 20 Celsius to minus 196 Celsius that fulfils 100% of the needs of cell and gene therapy developers and the broader biopharma market.” He continued: “the strategic fit is excellent.”

The deal will add 18 of Stirling’s sale team to BioLife’s staff cohort and a 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Athens, Ohio. The acquisition will also provide the firm with 80 patents that are related to Stirling’s current and future products, which Rice believes “will enable strong sustained product differentiation.”

Stirling’s CEO, Dusty Tenney is set to join BioLife as its new president and chief operating officer once the transaction has closed.

“With our acquisition of Stirling, we’re now guiding 2021 total revenue in a range of $101 million to $110 million and have set our next revenue goal at $250 million within the next 3 to 4 years,” said Rice.

Five in two years

Over recent years, BioLife has made several acquisitions. Its agreement with Stirling is the company’s fifth deal in two years.

In April 2019, the firm acquired Astero Bio, a maker of automated thawing devices for cell and gene therapies, for $8 million.

Three months later in July 2019, the firm bought SAVSU Technologies, a manufacturer and developer of cloud-connected passive storage and transport containers for temperature sensitive biologics and regenerative medicines.

In November the same year, BioLife acquired Custom Biogenic Systems (CBS) and noted its profile of liquid nitrogen lab freezers and cyrogenic equipment, design and manufacturing capabilities as its motivation.

And last September, BioLife bought SciSafe, a privately held multi-facility provider of biological materials storage to the cell and gene therapy and pharmaceutical industries, for $30 million.

Furthermore, In December 2020, BioLife invested in iVexSol and PanTHERA CryoSolutions, which increased its scope in the cell and gene therapy space.

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