Avantor acquires POCH from Kulczyk Holding

Acquisition of Poland’s leading performance materials supplier will expand Avantor’s laboratory offering and manufacturing footprint in Eastern Europe

Lloyd Dunlap
PHILLIPSBURG, N. J.—Avantor Performance Materials has agreedto acquire POCH SA from Kulczyk Holding. Completion of the sale is dependent onobtaining the necessary clearance from the Polish competition authority and issubject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
Avantor Performance Materials, formerly Mallinckrodt Baker,manufactures and markets high-performance chemistries and materials around theworld under several respected brand names, including the J.T. Baker, Macron,Rankem and Diagnova brands. Avantor products are used in a wide range ofindustries, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical production; electronicsand photovoltaic manufacturing; and in research, academic and quality-controllaboratories. The company is owned by an affiliate of private equity firm NewMountain Capital. With a solid manufacturing and distribution footprint inEastern Europe, POCH was an ideal candidate for acquisition, says AvantorPresident and CEO Jean-Marc Gilson.
 
When Avantor was purchased in 2010, its new owners announcedthe intention to strengthen the company's presence in the global market bygrowing both organically and through acquisition, and by expanding into newmarkets and geographies. Avantor was also attracted to POCH's wide range of endmarkets—including pharmaceuticals; food and feed; chemical and petrochemical;environmental protection and research and analytical chemistry—as the companyseeks to broaden its market base.
 
From its base in Poland, POCH manufactures products designedfor use in classic and instrumental analysis, filtration and microbiology. POCHalso sells laboratory equipment and laboratory glass. The company alsomanufactures solvents for liquid and gas chromatography and spectroscopy aswell as anhydrous solvents.
 
"This acquisition will allow for synergies in market andproduction know-how and enrichment of the combined product portfolio, significantlyincreasing the level of expertise dedicated to various industry sectors," saysPOCH CEO Jaroslaw Bieszczad. "It will also allow us to offer the high-qualityAvantor product lines to our customers, while also giving us new markets forour products through the global Avantor organization."
 
Avantor's CEO Gilson underscores thispoint by adding: "With this transaction, Avantor will acquire a manufacturingbase in Eastern Europe and a well-established distribution channel for its J.T.Baker product line. Avantor is continuing to expand its global manufacturingfootprint in order to provide more efficient customer and technical service andto realize the cost-savings that comes with greater breadth and scale withinthe global market. The POCH product line will complement and expand upon thecurrent Avantor offering, allowing Avantor to enter into new end markets."
 
Poland is considered a risinginfluence in the pharmaceutical and laboratory markets, he notes, and is alsopart of an expanding Eastern European market, which holds promise for POCH andAvantor.
 
"We are further evaluating thecombined product portfolio from a strategic viewpoint," Gilson states, "but webelieve that this portfolio extension will provide new opportunities within thelaboratory market, where Avantor is currently a well-known and respected globalsupplier with its J.T. Baker and Macron brands."
 
Fried,Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and Wardynski & Partners acted aslegal advisors to Avantor and New Mountain Capital. DC Advisory Partners actedas the sole financial advisor and Clifford Chance as legal advisor to KulczykHolding.

Lloyd Dunlap

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