Basel-based Lonza AG is moving to sell its Lonza Specialty Ingredients (LSI) division to private equity firms Bain Capital and Cinven for CHF 4.2 billion ($4.7 billion), completing a planned pivot to focus on its Lonza Pharma, Biotech & Nutrition business.
In its year-end financials last month, Lonza reported sales of CHF 4.5 billion ($5 billion) and sales growth of 12.0%, largely on the back of its health care group.
Lonza has been in the process of separating LSI into a standalone unit since 2019. Sales had slumped relative to its pharmaceutical business, and the company brought in Roche and Novartis veteran Pierre-Alain Ruffieux as CEO in November to steer the business in this new direction.
Lonza’s life sciences business includes a partnership with Moderna to manufacture its COVID-19 vaccine, in facilities at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and in Switzerland.
LSI, which employs about 2,800 people at its 17 manufacturing and 11 research and development sites globally, specializes in microbial control solutions like disinfectants, preservatives and sanitizers. It also produces industrial chemicals and, at its Switzerland facility, more specialized chemicals, for the electronics, aerospace, food and agrochemical industries.
Last year, LSI’s head Sven Abend, then Lonza’s chief operating officer, left to become CEO of collagen protein supplier Gelita.