Danaher offloads assets to Sartorius for $750m; GE buy pushed back to 2020

Sartorius will add biomolecular characterization, chromatography hardware and resins, and microcarriers in the deal, dependent on the closure of Danaher’s acquisition of GE Healthcare’s Biopharma business.

Earlier this year, Danaher Corporation announced its intention to increase its presence in the bioprocessing space through the full biopharma portion of GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business for approximately $21.4 billion (€19.2 billion).

The GE business unit will, once the deal closes, become the latest subsidiary of Danaher, which boasts Pall Corporation, Sciex, and Beckman Coulter among its life science portfolio.

The Danaher GE deal is now likely to close in 2020. Image: iStock/Olivier-Le-Moal

To help facilitate the deal from a regulatory standpoint, Danaher will now sell various parts of its current life science portfolio to rival vendor Sartorius for $750 million.

This includes Danaher’s biomolecular characterization business FortéBio, which will boost Sartorius’ protein analysis instruments portfolio within its bioanalytics business.

Sartorius will also boost its Bioprocess Solutions division through the addition of Danaher’s chromatography hardware and resins portfolio, as well as adding the SoloHill unit, which includes a microcarrier technology and particle validation standards used in cell culture.

“This represents a significant step in the regulatory process toward closing the GE Biopharma acquisition,” said Danaher CEO Thomas Joyce. “While timing around meeting all closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, is still uncertain, we remain very encouraged by the progress to date and expect closing of the transaction in the first quarter of 2020.”

According to Evercore ISI analyst Vijay Kumar, the key part of Joyce’s statement is the new timing of the proposed closure of the GE deal, pushing it back from the fourth quarter of this year to the first quarter of 2020.

This, noted Kumar, “makes sense given the size of transaction and all of the moving parts.”

When Danaher does close the GE deal, the business unit will change its name to Cytiva, a spokesperson from GE Healthcare told this publication last month.

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