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Sartorius Stedim Biotech born

By Anna Lewcock , 03-Jul-2007

The hook-up between German and French firms Sartorius and Stedim to create a combined biotech business is now complete, with the deal finalised and the new company ready to roll.

The two companies have been busy since announcing the proposed partnership just over four months ago, through which Sartorius' carved out biotech division will merge with Stedim to form a separate entity - Sartorius Stedim Biotech.


Sartorius is the majority shareholder with a controlling stake in the new company, and following the finalisation of the merger will now also launch a tender offer for shares in the new company currently held by minority Stedim shareholders.


Combining Stedim Biosystems' expertise in bioprocess and disposable bag systems with Sartorius' capabilities in process technologies is intended to create a "total solutions provider for the biopharmaceutical industry," and integration of the two arms is set to be complete very soon.


Pro forma sales for the newly-formed firm totalled €362m in 2006, and are estimated to hit around €400-€420m in 2007, with a workforce of over 2,000.


Back in February when the proposed merger was announced, Sartorius CEO (and elected CEO of the new company), Joachim Kreuzburg, did not expect the merger to result in any job losses or site closures due to the complementary nature of the companies' product catalogues and the fast-growing biopharmaceutical market.


The merger fits nicely with Sartorius' expansion plans for its biotechnology business unit, as the company aims to take advantage of the growing biopharmaceutical market and demand for bioprocessing solutions.


Early in the year the company also snapped up thermoplastics firm Toha Plast, again adding to the company's portfolio of disposables for the biopharmaceutical industry.


Pro forma sales revenues for the Sartorius group as a whole are now forecast to reach €660-€680m in 2007, up from the €521.1 reported in 2006. Costs of the merger were estimated to set Sartorius back around €5-€10m over the course of 2007.


Stedim Biosystems was originally intended to remain as a stand-alone company, but was drawn in by talks with Sartorius which resulted in the merger deal being signed.


"We initiated a number of talks with companies with technologies complementary to ours in the past," said Bernard Lemaître, the former Stedim chairman and board member of the newly formed company, back in February.


"We understood that even though long-term growth was assured for our products, it was also interesting to consider an alliance with a company offering complementary technology in bioprocessing technologies. This is why we decided to initiate talks with Sartorius."


The new company's offering will cover a wide variety of equipment and services for the biopharmaceutical industry, from fermentation, filtration, and purification to fluid management and lab technologies.


The company will be officially headquartered in Stedim's former offices in Aubagne, France, with main operations in Germany (the site of Sartorius' headquarters) and the US.

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