The GEA Group has acquired the manufacturer of freeze dryers for pharmaceutical products, STERIS, a unit of US-based STERIS Corporation in a deal that aims to strengthen the group's Process Engineering Division in the Process Engineering Segment.
The acquisition is in response to the expected upsurge in demand for freeze dryers in pharmaceutical products produced via the biotech route.
GEA, which supplies process technology and components for the pharmaceutical, food and petrochemical industries, said that the deal was scheduled to be closed in November. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
GEA also offer pharmaceutical customers individual equipment and complete systems for the production of solid dosage forms. Products include systems for dispensing (dosing and blending), granulation and drying and tablet compression.
Freeze-drying is a process that plays an increasingly important role in the pharmaceutical / biotech industry, especially for biotechnologically-produced products.
A popular form of freeze-drying known as lyophilisation, is an optimal drying method, which extends the lifetime of temperature-sensitive medicines.
STERIS manufacturers of freeze dryers for pharmaceutical products boasts annual sales of $40 million (€33.3 million). It currently employs almost 160 people.
"The acquisition of STERIS is another valuable addition to our product portfolio for the growing pharmaceutical sector," the company said.