The company re-opened its enquiries into an IPO in mid 2004, but has now decided that the current state of the capital markets has made the prospect of a successful offering unrealistic, according to chairman Dr Joachim Kreuzburg.
Sartorius had originally planned to float Vivascience in 2001, but was unable to go through with the share sale due to what it described at the time as 'skittish' equity market conditions. The company had planned to try again the following year, but has continually delayed the move as it waits for the IPO markets to pick up.
Last July, the company said a hike in industry-wide pharmaceutical research spending which should lead to a similar upturn in spending on proteomics tools (a sector in which Vivascience holds a strong position) had raised its hopes.
Now however, "the group does not see any possibility to realise profits from an IPO that would sufficiently reflect this growth potential. Rather, this business area is to be further expanded within ... Sartorius," said the company in a statement.
Kreuzburg stressed that Vivascience is covering a highly attractive business field, [and] we will continue to develop it as an integral part of the Sartorius group.
Sartorius acquired Vivascience in 1999 and holds a 100 per cent stake in the company. Vivascience specialises in protein purification and analysis, and sells cell culture systems and filtration and ultrafiltration tools. In 2003, the biotechnology division - of which Vivascience is a part - posted sales of €227 million, a decline of more than 10 per cent, as a result of adverse currency impacts.