Sartorius M&A ready with €10bn war chest

Sartorius has around €10 billion ($10.2 billion) firepower at its disposal but says it is interested in complementary technologies and innovation rather than just bulking up its market share.

Like its rival bioprocess peers, Sartorius has been active in the mergers and acquisition space. The Germany-based firm has built up its product portfolio and biopharma services business through complementary M&A and is set to continue such a strategy going forward.

In the firm’s first half 2022 conference call, CEO Joachim Kreuzburg confirmed his firm had around €10 billion set aside for potential M&A so we contacted the company to find out more.

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“Our M&A strategy is focused on technologies that complement our product portfolio,” a spokesperson said. “We are interested in innovative potential and not primarily in buying additional sales revenue and market share. We are always looking at how we can make our portfolio even more relevant for our customers, especially with regard to new modalities, such as cell and gene therapies. The size of a company is not the decisive factor in this respect.”

Earlier this year, the company acquired 62.5% of cell isolation firm Automated Lab Solutions (ALS), with an agreement to buy the remaining shares in 2026. And in 2021, the firm struck a trilogy of deals, buying media firm Xell AG for €50 million, a majority stake in CellGenix for $118 million, and Novasep’s chromatography equipment business for an undisclosed fee.

And in February, the firm was reportedly eying up an $11 billion takeover of Maravai LifeSciences, a provider of products and services for the development and manufacture of drug therapies, diagnostics, and vaccines.

For the first half 2022, full group sales sat at €2.1 billion with the Bioprocess Solutions Division contributing €1.6 billion, up 23.5% year-on-year. According to the firm, two percentage points are related to acquisitions in the division.

Sartorius also noted COVID-related business pulled in €250 million, half the previous expectation of €500 million as the number had been in 2021. This corresponds with fellow bioprocess vendor Danaher, which recently lowered its forecasted revenue from COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics for 2022 to $1 billion at its bioprocess divisions Cytiva and Pall, compared with the $2 billion generated in 2021.

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