Businessman hands connecting puzzle pieces representing the merging of two companies or joint venture, partnership, Mergers and acquisition concept.

Ecolab Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Purolite, a leading and fast-growing 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.

Commenting on the transaction, Christophe Beck, Ecolab’s president and chief executive officer says, “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. 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.

Also commenting on the transaction, Steve Brodie, Purolite’s chief executive officer says, “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. 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.”

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.