VWR changes hands again

By Dr Matt Wilkinson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Kohlberg kravis roberts Merck kgaa

VWR's parent company has signed a definitive agreement to sell the
world's second largest laboratory supplier after its recent period
of significant growth and profitability.

Current owners, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), announced last night that it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell VWR to Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP). While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Financial Times​ believes the deal has valued VWR between $3.5bn and $4bn. The companies expect the transaction to be completed during the third quarter of 2007. A spokesperson for VWR told LabTechnologist.com: " We look forward to continuing to execute our strategy with our new owner MDP who has expressed a strong desire to support our current strategy to provide a broad offering of products, operational excellence, and the service they have come to expect from VWR." ​ VWR had 2006 revenues of $3.2bn which is a dramatic increase on the company's 2003 earnings of $175m. "This transaction is clear recognition of our achievements over the past three years,"​ said John Ballbach CEO of VWR. The company has a global base of over 250,000 customers in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, education and industry. "We believe VWR is the premier distributor to the global laboratory supply industry,"​ said Tim Sullivan, a managing director for MDP. VWR distributes a diverse product mix of over 750,000 products, including chemicals, glassware, equipment, instruments, furniture, protective clothing and safety products. CD&R bought VWR from Merck KGaA in April 2004 for $1.68bn and since then has initiated a number of strategic initiatives to strengthen VWR's position in the $27bn global laboratory supply industry. "We are extremely proud of the management team and of the performance gains achieved by the business over the period of our ownership,"​ said Richard Schnall, a VWR director and partner at CDR. "VWR is a great company and is positioned to continue to grow and prosper in the future." ​ In partnership with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., CD&R won the battle to acquire US Foodservice from Royal Ahold for $7.1bn this week.

Related topics Contract Manufacturing & Logistics

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