Danaher: $10bn+ war chest in 2022 but sees no gaps in bioprocessing

Danaher Corporation claims to be the leading player in bioprocessing and hopes to strengthen the offering further in 2022 through opportunist acquisitions.

In 2021, Danaher Corporation spent over $10 billion in M&A deals. The bulk of the capital – $9.6 billion – was used to enter the contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) through the addition of Aldevron, though other deals in the life sciences space included the addition of lipid nanoparticle tech firm Precision Nanosystems (PNI).

And discussing the firm’s strategy for the next 12 months, CEO Rainer Blair said a similar amount of dealmaking could be on the cards.

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“If you think of 2021 as an example, we did 13 plus deals deployed over $10 billion of capital, and as we look forward here, in the near and mid-term, we don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t be able to do that again” he told delegates at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference Tuesday.

“We look at the long term and where we want to be positioned in the long term. And that allows us to think about which are the most attractive end markets, the kind of leadership role we want to play in, and then we look at the assets that bring competitive advantage or advantage that we can turn into sustainable competitive advantage.”

But 2022 deals within the bioprocess space are unclear, as Blair claimed that through the previous multi-billion-dollar acquisitions of Pall in 2015 and Cytiva in 2020 (and to an extent the recent Aldevron buy), Danaher offers a complete service offering.

“We’re thrilled with the portfolio that we’ve built here over the last years and really think the scope and the scale that we’ve built, the ability to drive solutions globally is unmatched, on the one hand. And we really don’t see any material gaps,” he said.

“Now, we always look to strengthen our businesses, and we continue to do so. And we think with our balance sheet in great shape[…] we’re in a position, both from small to large deals, to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves, but we think we’re in great shape here from a portfolio perspective.”

He also lauded the combination of Pall and Cytiva, which he said makes Danaher “the leading player in bioprocessing.”

He continued: “This picture shows our breadth, both upstream as well as downstream in the workflow, with Cytiva holding leading positions in bio reactors chromatography and cell culture media, and while Pall leads in downstream filtration. In fact, combined, Pall and Cytiva have the largest single use technology business at well over $1 billion.”