ATMI begins strategic review but says bioreactors business is on track

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Biotechnology

ATMI starts strategic review
ATMI starts strategic review
ATMI has started exploring strategic alternatives but insists that its bioreactor business is positioned to benefit from increasing biopharma demand for single-use techs.

The US firm announced it had hired Barclays Capital as financial advisor for the review last Friday, just weeks after revealing that – for the third quarter – revenue fell 7% to $100m (€74m) and income declined 14% to $25.3m.

ATMI said the decline was due largely to falling demand for its semiconductors – which are used to produce computer chips. In contrast, the firm's life sciences business – which makes bioreactors for the biopharmaceutical industry​ - saw revenue increase.

Director of investor relations Troy Dewar confirmed this, telling that: “Our life sciences business is doing very well​” adding that the division is “positioned to benefit from the anticipate adoption of single-use technology​ by the biopharmaceutical industry​.”

He also reiterated the prediction that ATMI’s life sciences business – which also produces mixers, bioprocess vessels, packaging materials​, development services​ and vials​ for biopharmaceutical manufacturers – “is expected to grow 20-30% per year over the next several years” ​and achieve the break-even revenue mark of $15m by the fourth quarter.

Dewar declined to provide more information about the strategic review or say whether a sale of the firm or divestiture of either the life sciences or semiconductors business was among the options being discussed.

Market response

News of strategic review was met with considerable speculation, and a 5.6% leap in ATMI’s share price, with some observers suggesting that if sold the Danbury, Connecticut-headquartered firm could fetch up to $1bn.

Most observers focused on ATMI’s semiconductors business – which generated $87m in the third quarter compared with the $12.3m brought in by the life sciences arm – with the consensus view being that the unit’s customer base is shrinking.

Patrick Ho, an analyst for Stifel Nicolaus & Co told Bloomberg that: “The further you go down the supply chain, the less leverage you have…It’s becoming a narrower base of who the big spenders are​.”

Related topics Upstream Processing Bioreactors

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