Oct 29, 2021

Ecolab to Acquire Purolite

Ecolab will pay approximately $3.7 billion in cash

water quality

Ecolab Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Purolite, a global provider of high-end ion exchange resins for the separation and purification of solutions, that is highly complementary to our current offering and critical to safe, high quality drug production and biopharma product purification in the life sciences industries.

It also provides purification and separation solutions for critical industrial markets like microelectronics, nuclear power and food and beverage. The acquisition is structured as a cash transaction valued at approximately $3.7 billion. Based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, Purolite operates in more than 30 countries and employs approximately 1,000 people worldwide, with expected 2021 sales of approximately $0.4 billion.

Purolite will operate as a separate global business unit and its overall results will be reported within Ecolab’s Life Sciences division. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory clearance and other customary closing conditions. No other details were announced.

“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," said Christophe Beck, Ecolab’s president and chief executive officer. "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. 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. At the same time, it will further expand our capabilities in industries that are complementary to our already existing leading positions, such as the polishing of advanced microelectronics, ultra-purification of water in nuclear power, food and beverage taste and product quality enhancement, high-end precious metals extraction, like lithium for EV batteries, as well as in the production of hydrogen fuel cells.

“Over the last 40 years, with the support and contribution of our loyal, highly skilled workforce, we have built our company into a dynamic force within the industries and for the clients we serve," said Steve Brodie, Purolite’s chief executive officer. "We are truly grateful to our employees and management team for supporting our vision and entrepreneurial spirit. My family and I are very confident that Ecolab can carry on these traditions. We are confident that Purolite will be in good hands and that our goals for high growth, innovation and quality will continue under Ecolab’s stewardship.”

Acquisition Highlights:

  • Strong strategic fit – new major global growth platform adding very high margin product and service solutions to further improve end-product safety and quality to critical key customers in the life sciences and industrial markets;
  • Large, growing market – growth leader serving an estimated $5 billion global fluid separation and purification market, growing double-digits in biopharma and high single-digits in industrial;
  • Strong growth history and expected long-term outlook with highly attractive margins – doubles our existing and very successful high growth, high margin life sciences business while adding new capabilities and creating incremental opportunities in industrial;
  • Global leader with recurring revenue – a nearly $0.4 billion global leader in high-end ion exchange resins with approximately 95% consumable revenue products for purification solutions critical to customer operations. Highly recurring business model as it is usually part of FDA drug filings in life sciences;
  • Breakthrough innovation – innovation leader, including its unique jetted agarose resin beads, which are recognized for their exceptional performance in mRNA vaccine production and monoclonal antibody purification for cancer treatment; And
  • Expected to be neutral in 2022 and nearly $0.10 accretive in 2023 to adjusted earnings per share; transaction amortization expected to be approximately $0.26 per share.

Ecolab will pay approximately $3.7 billion in cash, utilizing approximately $800 million of cash on the company’s balance sheet and low-cost debt for the balance. As a result of the structure of the transaction, we expect to realize tax benefits with an estimated net present value of approximately $300 million. Returns are expected to be significantly above our weighted average cost of capital.

As this is a growth synergies acquisition, Ecolab expects to realize only modest cost synergies from the Purolite transaction. The acquisition is expected to be neutral in 2022 and nearly $0.10 accretive in 2023 to adjusted earnings per share; transaction amortization expected to be approximately $0.26 per share.

Ecolab expects to maintain its strong investment grade credit rating post-acquisition and is planning to return to ‘A range’ metrics in 2023.

J.P. Morgan Securities acted as exclusive financial advisor to Ecolab in connection with the transaction and Baker McKenzie acted as legal counsel.

Webcast Details

Ecolab will host a live webcast to review the Purolite acquisition announcement on Oct. 29 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The webcast, along with related presentation slides, will be available to the public on Ecolab’s website at www.ecolab.com/investor.

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