Australia's CSL, the world's largest manufacturer of blood plasma products, has agreed to sell its JRH Biosciences division to Sigma-Aldrich for $370 million (€283m) in cash. JRH makes cell culture and sera products used in the production of biopharmaceuticals.
JRH had 2004 sales of approximately $150 million, which are expected to increase by approximately 10 per cent in 2005. The transaction - which is valued at three times the book price for JRH - is expected to close in the fist quarter.
David Harvey, Sigma-Aldrich's chairman and CEO, said the acquisition "strengthens Sigma-Aldrich's ability to meet customers' needs in supplying cell culture products to the fast growing biopharmaceutical production market."
JRH is headquartered in the US and has manufacturing facilities in the US, the UK and Australia and serum collection and processing centres in the US and Australia. The company's product lines include sera, cell culture media used in the production of therapeutic proteins, reagent growth factors and biological material containers. It has approximately 400 employees.
Frank Wicks, president of Sigma-Aldrich's newly re-branded fine chemicals business SAFC - which focuses on manufacturing, process development and contract services for drugs and intermediates - said the addition of JRH will provide Sigma-Aldrich with an assured supply of sera.
"We see many opportunities to achieve future growth in sales and profits, including increased utilisation of our existing manufacturing facilities and better leverage of our R&D capabilities."
Sigma-Aldrich said it was maintaining its 2004 full-year estimate of diluted earnings per share of $3.30-$3.35, rising to $3.45-$3.55 in 2005 including the dilution effect of the acquisition. The inclusion of JRH is expected to be accretive to earnings after 2005 and to make a positive contribution to cash flow in the same year.