Avantor bolsters COVID vaccine manufacturing with $2.9 billion Masterflex deal

U.S. lab products provider Avantor Inc will buy Masterflex from privately held Antylia Scientific in a $2.9 billion all-cash deal to beef up its COVID-19 therapy and vaccine manufacturing operations.

The purchase, announced on Tuesday, would enable Avantor to take advantage of strong demand for vaccines as the Delta variant drives a jump in U.S. infections and evidence emerges of waning antibody levels in vaccinated people.

A top U.S. health official said last week that the government plans to invest $3 billion in the vaccine supply chain, as it prepares to begin offering a booster shot to Americans.

Other medical equipment makers have also made acquisitions to expand their COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capabilities, with Danaher Corp agreeing in June to buy Moderna Inc supplier Aldevron for about $9.6 billion.

Illinois-based Masterflex manufactures products such as peristaltic pumps, used for research and production of biologic drugs, vaccines and cell and gene therapies. The net purchase price for the deal is about $2.7 billion, given expected tax benefits.

Avantor said the purchase was likely to add to its adjusted earnings in the first year after the deal’s close, expected in the last quarter of 2021.

The Masterflex buyout comes on the heels of Avantor’s $1.1 billion deal in April to buy Ritter, a German COVID-19 PCR test products maker.

While demand for COVID-19 testing has slowed from its peak last year following vaccinations, some testing companies have said the Delta variant was driving a rebound in demand.

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