German-based biopharmaceutical company Sartorious has signed an agreement to acquire Essen BioScience, an Ann Arbor-based pioneer in cell-based instrumentation for drug discovery and basic research applications. The acquisition was for $320 million in cash, and is subject to antitrust clearance, but is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2017.
Following double-digit sales growth for the past few years, Essen BioScience expects to generate sales revenues of approximately $60 million in 2017, with strong levels of operating profitability. Between its Ann Arbor headquarters and sales entities in Japan and the United Kingdom, the company currently employs 150 people.
“With the Essen real-time, live-cell analysis platform, we will add another key technology for advancing and accelerating drug discovery applications to our lab divisions’ portfolio,” says Joachim Kreuzburg, CEO of Sartorius. “This powerful technology offers important synergies with our IntelliCyt business. Going forward, Sartorius will be able to provide our customers the broadest and, we believe, the most innovative portfolio for cell analysis in the industry.”
The acquisition will allow Sartorius to significantly expand its bioanalytics portfolio, a field the company entered by acquiring IntelliCyt in 2016. Essen BioScience has specialized in instrumentation, software, and reagents for real-time live-cell imaging and data analysis for more than a decade. The information delivered to users accelerates discovery and development of new drugs and provides new insight and understanding into the mechanisms of disease.