Darmstadt, Germany, January 4, 2017 — Merck, a leading life science and technology company, today announced it has acquired BioControl Systems Inc., a global leader in food safety testing. The acquisition opens growth opportunities for Merck in the food and beverage space; particularly in the U.S. Confidentiality has been agreed on the financial details of the transaction.
BioControl’s established rapid detection technology and third-party validated testing platforms complement Merck’s portfolio of instruments and consumables in its applied solutions business geared to the food pathogen testing workflow.
“BioControl’s acquisition strengthens our ability to help customers protect the global food supply by providing an expansive portfolio of state-of-the-art testing technology,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board and CEO, Life Science business. “BioControl’s innovative assays and validated kits, when combined with Merck’s strengths in microbiology, filtration and e-commerce will create a strong global provider aimed at solving tough challenges in the food pathogen testing space,” he added.
The global spotlight on the importance of food safety has grown given the increased incidents of outbreaks and recalls with foodborne diseases often caused by consuming a wide range of foods including undercooked meat, eggs, fresh produce and dairy products contaminated by Salmonella, Listeria, E.coli O157H7 and Campylobacter. BioControl’s product portfolio includes pathogen detection kits to identify these food poisoning bacteria in food and ingredients and its key customers include meat producers.
“Merck is the best home for Biocontrol, our customers and our employees,” said Phil Feldsine, President and Chief Executive of BioControl. "Merck’s global market presence as a leader in laboratory sciences will introduce BioControl’s innovative, customer oriented solutions to a much broader base worldwide while providing existing customers with access to Merck’s food safety product portfolio and expertise. The opportunity for BioControl to become part of a world class 350-year-old organization with a reputation for doing it the right way is very rewarding.”
The acquisition is in line with the strategy of Merck’s life science business to expand in key geographies, and provide a differentiated experience to customers in applied settings, including food and beverage safety testing. While the business will continue to focus on microbial quality control solutions for pharmaceutical production processes and products, an area where the business currently has leading market share, the acquisition will enable Merck to offer a complete food pathogen testing platform to its customers in the food and beverage safety testing market.
Achelous Partners acted as financial advisor to BioControl on this transaction. Nixon Peabody LLP represented Merck in the transaction.
BioControl is one of the leading companies in innovative rapid microbiology tests for food safety for more than 30 years. It offers a diverse third party validated product portfolio lines, which include industrial microbiology testing, rapid detection methods for food-borne pathogens, the quantitative measurement of microorganisms, and hygiene monitoring. The company primarily sells its products to food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, contract testing labs and government labs. BioControl is based in Bellevue, WA (U.S.), with over 100 employees worldwide. In FY 2015, it generated revenue of USD 34 million. For further details: visit www.biocontrolsys.com.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 56,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – Merck is everywhere. In 2018, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany generated sales of €14.8 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.