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Ecolab Buys Ion Exchange Resins Maker Purolite for $3.7B

Image courtesy of Ecolab Screen Shot 2021-10-29 at 2.57.36 PM.png
The deal expands Ecolab’s position in several markets, including high-end precious metals extraction and hydrogen fuel cell production.

Water, hygiene, and infection prevention solutions firm Ecolab announced Thursday that it has inked an agreement to purchase ion exchange resins and services provider Purolite in a $3.7 billion cash deal. The King of Prussia, PA-based firm is also a supplier of purification and separation solutions for industrial markets like food and beverage and microelectronics.

“With 2021 sales of $0.4 billion and mid-teens growth, Purolite is an acquisition that brings us a fast growing leader in biopharma and industrial purification solutions with very strong margins. With this transaction, we will significantly increase our opportunities in our high growth, high margin life sciences business, such as the purification of mRNA vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for cancer-treatment drugs,” Ecolab President and Chief Executive Officer Christophe Beck said in a release. “By combining Ecolab’s state-of-the-art capabilities in clean and safe processing with Purolite’s revolutionary resin technology, we will provide a comprehensive and game-changing offering that will make the customer’s end-product better, safer, healthier and more effective.”

Ecolab also expects Purolite’s capabilities to expand position across several markets, including high-end precious metals extraction, hydrogen fuel cell production, and ultra-purification of water for nuclear power.

“It provides another strong and adjacent global growth platform within Ecolab with double-digit growth prospects in both our life sciences and industrial markets. It opens up new opportunities for innovation, circle the customer sales opportunities and future M&A,” said Beck. “This new growth platform will provide high end purification solutions that further improve the quality and safety of life-saving drugs, high quality foods and ultra-pure water for high tech industries. It also provides new solutions to further improve our water re-use and re-cycling offerings as well as innovative solutions to improve our environmental programs for customers, such as PFAS remediation.”

The parties expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter of 2021. Once the transaction reaches completion, Purolite will function as a separate global business unit, with its results reported under Ecolab’s Life Sciences division.

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