Sartorius set to acquire BIA Separations for $423m

Sartorius Stedim Biotech has announced plans to buy Slovenian purification tech firm BIA Separations for €360 million ($423 million).

The deal will see Sartorius pay €240 million upfront and €120 million in shares. The firm will also pay tranches of earn-out payments over the next five years. The transaction is expected to complete before the end of the year.

Ajdovščina, Slovenia-headquartered BIA develops and manufactures products for purification and analysis of large biomolecules, including viruses, plasmids and mRNA.

Image: iStock/mucahiddin

Sartorius CEO Joachim Kreuzburg said, “Combining the teams and technologies of Sartorius and BIA will create a premium offering for the manufacturing of advanced therapies.

“The goal of our partnership is to enable such therapeutics to reach more patients faster and we are committed to continue delivering relevant innovations across the entire production chain.”

According to Sartorius, BIA is on track to generate revenue of around €25 million in 2020. It also predicted that the Slovenian firm will see double digit revenue growth over the next five years.

Expansion

BIA employs a workforce of some 120 people. In February, it announced plans to invest in a new manufacturing facility in Slovenia’s Northern Primorska region, in a move expected to create 100 jobs.

At the time BIA also said it would “expand production to the US or Canada” citing customer demand.

It wrote “the construction of production facilities at a new North American location is expected in 2022 and will be completed by the end of 2023. The new location will have three to four times higher capacity than the new, expanded production in Ajdovščina.”

CEO Aleš Štrancar said, “The North American market represents more than 80% of our market. Customers expect that the production of our major products used in their manufacturing of medicines and vaccines will be as close as possible, independent of the highly unpredictable business environment and increasingly uncertain transport routes, and thus accessible to patients in their countries and beyond.

“We are therefore extremely pleased to do business with companies in the US and Canada as they generally highly value work results and the ability to achieve goals in the shortest possible time, with minimal bureaucracy. Our business relationships are based on equal partnership and our prices are comparable to those of US companies.”

BIA’s technology was used to make Novartis’ gene therapy Zolgensma. In September the firm was recognised for the role its systems played in developing the spinal muscular atrophy treatment.

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