Steris completes freeze dryer sale with GEA

By Kirsty Banes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Freeze drying Food preservation Chief executive officer

The GEA Group has completed an agreement to acquire Steris's freeze
dryer (lyophiliser) product line, in a deal that aims to strengthen
the group's Process Engineering Division in the Process Engineering

The acquisition is in response to the expected upsurge in demand for freeze dryers in pharmaceutical products produced via the biotech route and "is another valuable addition to our product portfolio for the growing pharmaceutical sector,">GEA​ said.

"We are very pleased that the freeze dryer product line has been purchased by a strategic buyer with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry,"​ said Les Vinney, Steris's president and chief executive officer.

>Steris​ said they anticipate a smooth transition of the freeze dryer business to new ownership and will now focus on improving their core Life Sciences business.

Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of the GEA Group has acquired Steris's freeze dryer business for $24 million (€20 million). The transaction is anticipated to result in an after-tax gain of approximately $4 million.

The freeze dryer product line, based in Cologne, Germany, was part of Steris's Life Sciences segment and had revenues of approximately $40 million in fiscal year 2005.

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.

GEA supplies process technology and components for the pharmaceutical, food and petrochemical industries and 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.

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