Sartorius acquires BIA Separations for $423m

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Sartorius Sartorius stedim biotech Chromatography cell and gene therapy

German life science company Sartorius will merge Slovenian purification specialist BIA Separations with Sartorius Stedim Biotech, in a deal worth €360m ($423m).

BIA Separations develops and manufactures products for purification and analysis of large biomolecules, such as viruses, plasmids and mRNA, which are destined for use in cell and gene therapies and other advanced therapies. It is the inventor and exclusive producer of CIM (Convective Interaction Media) chromatographic columns for large biomolecules. 

Headquartered in Ajdovščina, BIA Separations is in the process of more than quadrupling production capacity in Slovenia which will be operational at the start of next year. With the majority of its business in North America, it has set out its ambitions for expansion with a production site on the continent in 2022. It is also expanding its process development service.

Sartorius is eyeing up predictions of double-digit sales growth for BIA Separations over the next few years: with forecasts for sales revenue of around €25m in 2020.

BIA Separations will become its center of excellence for the purification of cell and gene therapeutics. Joachim Kreuzburg, CEO of Sartorius, 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.”

Göttingen-headquartered Satorius will pay €360m ($423m) for BIA Separations, of which €240m is in cash and €120m is in Sartorius Stedium Biotech shares. There will be three tranches of earn-out payments based on performance over the next five financial years. The transaction, subject to customary regulatory conditions, is expected to close in late 2020.

BIA Separations

BIA Separations' technology for manufacturing scale purification is already used in production of commercialized advanced therapeutics and the company also has a 'strong presence' with such novel drug candidates in the clinical pipeline.

The company was founded in 1998 and invented and commercialized the unique CIM (Convective Interaction Media) monolith chromatography technology. It also offers analytical technologies for process monitoring and optimization. BIA Separations employs around 120 people.

BIA Separations is building a €6m ($7m) facility in the Primorska region in Slovenia. With North America accounting for around 80% of the company's business, it is also planning to expand production with a site in the US or Canada in 2022 (to be operational at the end of 2023).

Sartorius subgroup Sartorius Stedium Biotech - which is headquartered in France - focuses on cell cultivation, fermentation, filtration, purification and fluid management. It has manufacturing, sales and R&D facilities in more than 20 countries in Europe, North America and Asia.

In the first six months of 2020, it saw sales revenue up 22% and order intake up 34%, with the coronavirus pandemic leading to additional demand for products used to manufacture vaccines and antiviral medications.

In April Sartorius Stedium Biotech closed the acquisition of selected life science businesses of Danaher Corporation as part of the broader transaction between Danaher and Sartorius Group. These businesses - which generated revenue of around $100m USD in 2019 and employ around 100 people in France, the UK and the US - cover a chromatography and resins business; and the SoloHill microcarrier technology business.

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