Deal continues trend of consolidation in laboratory supplies sector

High-purity materials provider Avantor has agreed to buy laboratory consumables stalwart VWR for around $6.4 billion (£5 billion) in cash. The deal is Avantor’s third acquisition in the last year, and follows the trend of consolidation within laboratory suppliers.

Avantor acquired silicone materials specialist NuSil in 2016, to add to its portfolio of life science, aerospace and electronic materials. It then bought pharmaceutical buffer maker Puritan Products in April 2017. Merging with VWR significantly expands the range of laboratory consumables and services that Avantor will offer, and boosts Avantor’s footprint in both established and emerging markets.

The move follows an ongoing trend of consolidation in laboratory supplies, including Merck KGaA’s purchases of Sigma–Aldrich in 2014 and Millipore in 2010; Thermo Fisher Scientific’s acquisition of Life Technologies in 2013 and Alfa Aesar laboratory chemicals in 2015; and Danaher’s buyouts of Pall and Cepheid.