Hygiena to acquire DuPont's food safety diagnostics business

DuPont BAX system

Hygiena is to acquire DuPont's food safety diagnostics business for an undisclosed amount and says it plans to invest behind new product development.

The Warburg Pincus portfolio company specializes in food safety and environmental sanitation testing.

The firm told us opportunities around product development will be assessed as the two businesses are combined.

Hygiena added it plans to continue operations at DuPont Diagnostics’ Wilmington, Delaware facility and retain the staff.

The acquisition includes all of DuPont Diagnostics business assets, including the BAX and RiboPrinter Systems and associated test kits as well as the sales, R&D and manufacturing organization and in-house production capacity.

It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, pending customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. 

DuPont and The Dow Chemical Company are in the process of merging into DowDuPont and separating the company into three areas: agriculture, material science and speciality products.

Increased global presence

Steve Nason, CEO of Hygiena, said the combination will create a broad food safety diagnostics company that can better serve customers. 

"The combined company's microbiology products will cover the full manufacturing process, from in-process environmental tests to finished product tests,” he said.

“In addition, the combination increases our customer service presence in the US and internationally, which will allow us to further enhance our research and development efforts and support to our combined customer base."

DuPont Diagnostics provides microbial detection and monitoring products that identify and characterize pathogens and other organisms in ingredients, finished products and production environments.

The business was formed by DuPont in 1992 as Qualicon and Hygiena will retain that name.

PCR technology is behind the BAX System for pathogen detection. It has been adopted as a detection method by manufacturers, quality laboratories and governments globally.

DuPont switches focus

Matthias Heinzel, president, DuPont Nutrition & Health, said he believed the diagnostics business was a strategic fit with Hygiena. 

"This transaction is a strategic business decision that will allow DuPont Nutrition & Health to focus on growth opportunities that are more closely aligned with our core portfolio of specialty food ingredients,” he said.

“Together they will be better able to offer greater opportunities for growth and investment in innovative solutions for the global pathogen testing industry."

Earlier this year Warburg Pincus invested in Hygiena saying the company represents a platform to consolidate the highly fragmented food and life sciences testing and environmental sanitation industry.  

The private equity firm said the ATP market is expected to continue to grow due to increased regulation, the shift towards ready-to-eat and organic foods and new applications in healthcare and industrial markets. 

Through organic growth and M&A, the combined organization will be well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the fragmented food safety testing industry, it added.

Hygiena serves industrial food processors, healthcare institutions, life science researchers and other industries.

The firm manufactures and sells hygiene monitoring, environmental collection systems and rapid dilution devices, including its ATP (adenosine triphosphate) testing system and products are distributed in more than 80 countries.

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