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.