Ellab is a leading global supplier of solutions and services for validating, measuring and monitoring thermal applications for the pharmaceutical and food processing industries. Since acquired by EQT in September 2019, the company has doubled its validation services operations through an ambitious M&A strategy. Sounds complicated? Well, it is, so let’s take a step back
Production within pharmaceuticals and food processing is associated with very high and regulated standards as potential production failures can lead to severe healthcare consequences for end-users and manufacturing facilities. Securing compliant production equipment and processes is therefore of utmost importance.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in the city of Hillerød, just north of Copenhagen, Denmark, Ellab offers a wide range of high-precision systems for temperature, pressure and humidity validation and monitoring. Today, Ellab enjoys a diversified blue-chip customer base across 70 countries and serves all of the global top-20 pharma companies, including Pfizer, Gilead Sciences and AstraZeneca, as well as major food conglomerates Nestlé, Mars and Kraft.
After identifying a growing customer demand for outsourced services, beyond its traditional validation equipment, Ellab launched a service offering within validation, qualification and calibration. The initiative was introduced to the US market in 2016 and it allows customers to avoid the hassle of carrying out continuous validation and calibration – while staying compliant with the ever-changing regulations. Since the successful launch in the US, demand has continued to increase rapidly and Ellab was therefore ready to roll out the offering to its global customer base.
Shortly after being acquired by EQT Mid Market Europe in September 2019, Ellab started an accelerated M&A strategy to roll out its service offering to core European markets. The company targeted service providers serving the pharma and life science industries with specialized capabilities within thermal validation, qualification and calibration services, and which also had built up long-standing customer relationships.
Fast-forward to seven months later and Ellab has successfully completed three add-ons. First up was the acquisition of Instrument Technology Limited (ITL), a supplier of instrumentation products and services to the life science industry, which was acquired as a platform investment in Ireland in December 2019. In April 2020, the Irish presence was further strengthened by the acquisition of the leading validation services business, QualUs. Simultaneously, Ellab closed the add-on of Adsano, a company specialized in thermal qualification and validation services across Southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Peter Krogh, CEO at Ellab, commented: “As the world leader in thermal validation equipment, we saw an increasing trend in our markets with customers supplementing their inhouse validation equipment with rental and outsourcing validation services. With the recent acquisitions, we believe that we have a strong position to serve Ellab’s customers across the US, DACH, UK and Ireland. We are excited to be backed by such a strong owner as EQT, whose broad network and sector expertise within healthcare and services are highly beneficial for Ellab’s continuous expansion in these markets and beyond.”
Rikke Kjær Nielsen, Partner at EQT, added: “Ellab has a strong thematic investing rationale and is positioned in the intersection of EQT’s core sectors, Healthcare, Industrial Technology and Services. With the recent add-ons, which all make a strong strategic rationale and enable continued consolidation of the highly fragmented European market, we believe that Ellab is well-positioned to capitalize on these thematic market opportunities in its core markets. EQT remains highly committed to continued investments in the company’s organic and acquisitive growth. This is a testimony to our strategy of investing with the trends in bullish, as well as tougher market environments bearing the ongoing pandemic in mind.”
Read more about Ellab.