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SFW Capital Partners sells Essen BioScience to Sartorius for USD320m

Private equity firm SFW Capital Partners has sold Essen BioScience, a specialist in the field of cell-based assays and instrumentation used for life sciences research, to Sartorius Group for USD320 million.

SFW acquired a controlling interest in Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Essen in May 2014.
SFW recruited Brett Williams to become Essen’s CEO and, throughout the investment, supported Williams and the Essen management team in executing a wide range of strategic, organisational, and operating initiatives to drive significant organic revenue growth and the adoption of Essen’s IncuCyte live cell analysis platform.
With SFW’s support, Essen made substantial investments in the development of new applications for the IncuCyte instrument that incorporated integrated instrumentation, software, reagents and consumables, and in enhancing its sales, marketing, service and field support capabilities. Through these investments, Essen achieved significant growth in revenues and profitability, and substantially transformed its organisation, strategy and market position.
“Essen’s differentiated instrumentation, long-standing customer relationships, deep application expertise and significant opportunities for organic growth were a great fit with SFW’s focus on investing in and supporting the transformational growth, development and sustainable leadership position of highly innovative providers of analytical instrumentation and related products,” says Roger Freeman, a co-founder and partner of SFW. “We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to partner closely with Essen’s co-founders, Brett Williams and the entire Essen management team.”
“We are incredibly proud of the transformational investments and improvements we enacted with the support and guidance of SFW, which strengthened Essen’s organic growth and leading innovative position in cell-based life science research, while positioning us for our next stage of growth,” says Williams. “We are excited to become a part of Sartorius and build on our industry-leading cell analytics solutions. This is not only a great opportunity to build upon Essen’s market-leading position, but also to continue the development and introduction of transformative solutions for life sciences. In addition, we believe that the combination with Sartorius will provide exceptional opportunities for sustained growth and development for our employees, customers and business partners.”

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